Costs and Benefits of Climate Related Disclosure Activities by Corporate Issuers and Institutional Investors

When the SEC announced the Proposed Rule on climate-related disclosures in March, one of the first challenges from commenters was the cost of meeting the proposed requirements. While the SEC estimated first-year costs would be in the range of $640,000, others estimated it would be much greater. 

We are now able to look at current and historical costs for certain public companies and investors in the new survey “Costs and Benefits of Climate-Related Disclosure Activities.” This survey, commissioned by Persefoni and Ceres and undertaken by The SustainAbility Institute by ERM, reveals how much certain U.S. private sector organizations currently spend measuring and disclosing climate-related disclosure activities. 

The report reveals several key takeaways, including: 

  1. Technology will play a role in reducing the cost of compliance and enhancing the benefits of climate disclosure requirements

  2. The potential cost of non-compliance and misleading disclosures exceeds the cost of compliance. 

  3. The report reflects the resources currently devoted to climate disclosures, which shows that an important shift has taken place in the importance placed on climate and a low carbon economy.

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