Environmental, Social and Governance issues
Jim Kerr is Southern Company's EVP and Chief Legal Officer.
Environmental, Social and Governance issues - commonly called ESG - represent risks for investor-owned electric and gas companies. Recognizing the rising importance of these issues to major investors, customers, and stakeholders, the Edison Electric Institute developed the first-of-its-kind, sector-specific ESG reporting template, resulting in clarity, consistency, and comparability of ESG information desired by these important constituencies.
Initially, the focus of the EEI ESG template was on E issues - specifically how a company is addressing the threat of climate change - but recently the dialogue has moved on to S issues, such as community workforce development, and to G issues, such as cybersecurity governance. As financial activists play a bigger role in the energy sector, companies are proactively engaging with key constituents to address ESG issues and enable continued access to capital markets at affordable rates.