The ESG Committee wrapped up its yearly meetings by hosting the annual ESG Capstone Seminar at Deloitte on November 3. Led by ESG Committee Chair Marie Caekebeke and Committee Member Nick Karam, Deloitte, the capstone focused on mitigating risks, capital and ESG messaging to provide attendees with best practices within each area.
Data & Transparency
Daniel Romito, Director of ESG Strategy & Integration, Pickering Energy Partners, stressed that when discussing ESG, “we’re talking about data… which is currently messy, uncorrelated and unstandardized.” He suggested that companies approach both data and their ESG journey from a crawl, walk, then run approach – starting with establishing a solid foundation for the future before creating a sustainability report and gaining control of the desired ESG narrative.
Romito’s takeaways on problems in ESG reporting include the constantly shifting regulatory landscapes and reporting frameworks, issues with ESG data, and how influential evaluation methodologies remain subjective and opaque.
To combat these reporting issues, he suggested that Council Members focus on establishing a consensus defining terms (like produced water or scope 2 emissions) rather than create an energy services and technology sector standard.
Chris Furlow, President, and CEO, Texas Bankers Association, focused on how increased regulation impacts community banks and their ability to partner with specific sectors including energy. Furlow called attention to several activities underway including the SEC’s evaluation of climate change disclosures, the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s Report on Climate-Related Financial Risk, and the Federal Reserve Board establishing two committees to understand climate-related risks.
Stakeholder Engagement & Communication
Darcie Durham, Chief Impact Officer, The AWTY International School, focused on various stakeholders in her spotlight on “Community Engagement and ESG” for how companies communicate their efforts and successes. As companies face issues with employee retention, she reminded attendees that employees are an important stakeholder and “can be the biggest advocates for your mission … and the biggest critics.” This sentiment highlighted how small changes can make a great impact.
Bethany Andell, President, Savage Brands, guided a workshop designed to have attendees think about their ESG story, align it with a “why” and dig into their purpose as companies.
“ESG is an extraordinary opportunity to change the narrative” around the energy business, she said.
Emerging ESG Issues: Assurance & Reporting
In addition to hosting the event, Deloitte provided insights into the evolving disclosure landscape. John Vickers, Managing Director Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory Energy, Resources & Industrials and Katy Tresselt, Audit & Assurance Senior Manager, ESG and Sustainability Services, Deloitte focused on the need for companies to go from ESG reporting being a “project” to a “process.” Part of building this process includes ESG-tasked individuals increasing communication with their accounting team, as they are “keepers of data” and crucial to how ESG-related reporting will evolve.
Attendees also received an exclusive tour of the newly inaugurated Deloitte Greenhouse®, Powered by Energy & Industrials. The space showcases the latest industry and technology assets in an immersive way designed to advance innovation and solutions for their clients.
For more information about ESG reporting or the Council’s ESG Committee, contact Senior Advisor Andy Knapp for more information.
Maria Suarez, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, Council activities and more.