The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has released a rule that would require public companies to make disclosures about their greenhouse gas emissions, climate-related financial metrics and climate-related risks.
The background: Since the early days of the Biden administration, the SEC has said that investors need “consistent, comparable and decision-useful information” about public companies’ climate-related risks. SEC Commissioner Allison Lee, a longtime champion of climate disclosures, called yesterday’s announcement “a watershed moment for investors and financial markets.”
The rule: The proposed rule would institute a wide range of new climate disclosure obligations for publicly traded companies.
- GHG reporting: All companies would be required to report Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions—those generated directly by a company’s operations or indirectly by a company’s energy usage. If “material” to investors, companies would also have to report their Scope 3 emissions—those resulting from upstream and downstream activities in their value chain.
- Financial metrics: Companies would be required to analyze climate impacts on their existing financial statement line items (like revenues, cash flow and capital expenses).
- Climate risk disclosures: This set of disclosures involves companies’ assessment of their “physical risks” (like fires and floods) and “transition risks” (like climate regulations or new green business models) related to climate change. Businesses would have to evaluate these risks and then disclose their potential impact as well as what steps the company is taking to mitigate them.
- Targets and goals: Many companies set public goals related to greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and the like. Under the SEC’s rule, companies would have to report information on how these goals are set, tracked and accomplished.
The SEC hopes to finalize its proposed rule by the end of this year, which means the largest companies would have to comply as of their FY2023 filings (submitted in early 2024).
Our action: Protecting manufacturers and their shareholders as the SEC works to mandate climate disclosures is a top NAM priority. NAM members can learn more about the SEC’s climate rule during our March 29 webinar, which you can register for here. We will be providing comment on the SEC’s proposal, and manufacturers are encouraged to share their feedback with NAM Senior Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Charles Crain.
The last word: “Manufacturers support key disclosures related to publicly traded companies’ climate strategies, as this information can help shareholders make informed decisions,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
“However, broad, sweeping disclosures could be counterproductive—requiring manufacturers to waste time and resources reporting irrelevant information that will not be decision-useful for shareholders. The SEC should focus on requiring disclosure of material information, and the NAM looks forward to working with the SEC to ensure that its proposed climate reporting rule enables smart, company-specific disclosures that are tailored and targeted.”
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org