Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2020

Center/Program

Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership

Abstract

Changes in the global climate are having profound impacts on business operations, governance, and organizational management around the world. Boards of directors are searching for ways to account for these changes as they help guide their organizations, and investors are increasingly concerned about how these changes might impact their portfolios. This global survey, conducted by a team of researchers at the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School and experts at LeaderXXchange, seeks to understand how – if at all – institutional investors and board directors incorporate climate-related issues in their investment decision making and their oversight responsibilities, respectively. It is among the first global survey of its kind targeting both investors and directors to probe their responses on climate risk management using two tracks aggregated in a single survey. The survey collected data on a broad range of topics, including demographic information of respondents and their views on issues such as materiality of climate change, training on climate change issues, disclosure of climate risks, climate risk management, board oversight and engagement and proxy voting on climate-related issues. We find a strong majority of respondents across groups rank climate issues high up on their list of important considerations. That said, climate issues appear to attract stronger attention among investors (as opposed to directors), women, younger respondents, and European respondents.

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