At present, 29 countries maintain some degree of mandatory ESG disclosure regulation, according to data tracked by the European Corporate Governance Institute, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.
Here is a brief breakdown of some of the regulation:
The UK requires larger organisations with over 500 employees or an annual turnover of over 500 million pounds to disclose climate-related financial information in annual strategic reports.
All publically-listed companies are required to report on their ESG standards as of 2016. These include equity, diversity, human rights, anti bribery and anti sexual harassment policies.
The US Securities and Exchange (SEC) maintains a comply-or-explain regime with some mandatory reporting features. The New York Stock Exchange requires listed companies to publish codes of corporate behaviour and ethics. In 2022 the SEC submitted a proposal for the Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors to adapt to an ever-changing market and provide comparable, traceable data for stakeholders.
Hong-Kong mirrors the US with their comply-or-explain system. Publicly listed companies are held to a higher standard, as they also have to comply with certain mandatory ESG reporting standards such as: board statements regarding the oversight, management, and progress review of ESG matters; explanations on how the reporting principles of materiality, quantitative, and consistency were applied in the preparation of the ESG reports; and the reporting boundaries listing the included entities and the reasons for their inclusion.
Mandatory reporting came into effect in January 2022. Singapore ESG disclosure rules also mean that directors of listed companies must attend sustainability training.
In 2019, The Philippines implemented national ESG disclosure regulations. Publicly listed companies must submit an annual report on their ESG performance.