CCRcorp Sites  

The CCRcorp Network unlocks access to a world of insights, research, guides and information in a range of specialty areas.

Our Sites


A basis for research and practical guidance focusing on federal securities laws, compliance & corporate governance.


An educational service that provides practical guidance on legal issues involving public and private mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity – and much more.


The “one stop” resource for information about responsible executive compensation practices & disclosure.

Widely recognized as the premier online research platform providing practical guidance on issues involving Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and all of its related rules.


Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

It seems like at least once per day, I read about a new survey relating to some aspect of corporate ESG. This includes things like:

  • Corporate spending on ESG
  • Investor use of ESG information/ratings/screening
  • Types and scope of ESG initiatives
  • Industry-specific trends
  • Board roles, responsibilities and activities
  • Corporate staff and management roles, responsibilities and activities
  • Climate program reporting, scope and status
  • DEI program status and outcomes
  • Supply chain ESG requirements

I’m sure you have seen these too. They come from consultants, audit firms, accounting firms, IT companies, industry associations, financial services firms, ESG ratings organizations, proxy advisors, law firms and the media. They are everywhere. This could be considered a good thing in that a wealth of benchmarking data exists that didn’t only a few years ago.

But there is a dark side to this as well. And in my opinion, it is growing significantly.

The problem I am referring to is that of conflicting survey results – the situation when one seemingly credible survey reports results completely different from or in conflict with results of another equally credible survey of ostensibly the same respondent types. At the moment, the most common example I am seeing is planned corporate expenditures for ESG in the coming year. Given the economic uncertainty and the recent spike in layoffs, this is a timely question. Some surveys conclude that ESG programs are very likely to be some of the first spending cuts made by companies, while others report that ESG spending will grow at a record pace. I can’t recall a time when I have encountered more directly contradictory results from what seem to be similar respondents.

Reporting of climate risks is another topic where survey results are inconsistent to say the least. Yes, I know company-specific differences are at the root of all survey results and that survey results aren’t typically lock-step with each other. But the company ESG surveys are so wildly contradictory to each other right now, I question whether they are even worth reading or considering.

It is tempting to use these surveys when you want to benchmark your ESG program or direction, but be mindful of the potential problems. You may be better off conducting your own research on specific matters of interest from your own selected target reference points. It may not be easy but your results will be more defensible.

Back to all blogs

The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile