Monday, April 13, 2009

Ontario legislature supports looking at ESG disclosure

Here's the text of the motion proposed by Laurel Broten last Thursday and carried by the house.

Be it resolved that, in the opinion of this House, the province of Ontario should undertake a review of Ontario's current corporate disclosure reporting requirements, standards and compliance therewith, with a particular emphasis on additional financial and non-financial information to ensure that Ontario investors have access to all information material to them in making investment decisions.
That, in undertaking such a review, the Ontario Securities Commission ("OSC") should undertake a broad consultation with its own advisory bodies including the Continuous Disclosure Committee, concerned stakeholders, appropriate interest groups and individuals and other securities regulators, to establish best practice corporate social responsibility ("CSR") and environmental, social and governance (" ESG") reporting standards.
That the OSC seek to develop and adopt an enhanced standardized reporting framework for both quantitative and qualitative social and environmental information to ensure corporate disclosures are understandable, comparable and outcome-focused.
That the OSC shall report back to the Minister of Finance no later than January 1, 2010, with regard to its findings, together with recommendations for next steps to enhance disclosure.

This is an important step forward both in terms of providing information on environmental and social factors to investors, and in encouraging companies to report on these issues on a level playing field. It will also move Ontario into the forefront of best practices, providing a solid groundwork for the new, greener economy we are building. Congratulations to all those in the SRI community who helped make this happen, and an especially warm round of applause to Ms. Broten.

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