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

Yesterday’s guest blog was on materiality considerations – and I will expand on the thoughts. Regardless of whether your company uses a single or double materiality approach for ESG, stakeholders are a key component of the results. Communities, regulators and customers are typical external audiences that play a role in ESG materiality determinations. Executives, boards and employees can also be important audiences. But does what you learn about stakeholders/audience(s) guide your ESG communication approach/style?

Communicating ESG information is generally unregulated, especially in the U.S.  Relevant regulations concern greenwashing and business impacts. Product labels intended to inform consumers at the point of sale about a variety of matters (such as product safety and nutrition) are subject to regulation in the US, while ESG information is generally not. Likewise, there are no ESG/sustainability disclosure regulations in the US (except as those matters may intersect and trigger SEC reporting mandates). Limited federal guidance is available but voluntary initiatives such as the ISSB/SASB, GRI and industry-specific frameworks exist of fill the gap. These frameworks – and to the extent regulations apply – help companies assess what to report/communicate but are less helpful in evaluating how to communicate in light of different audiences.

As mentioned above, ESG communications have at least five different consumers – regulators, investors/raters, customers/consumers, employees and the general public. Especially where executive compensation packages include sustainability metrics, boards could also be added to the list. Most of these are the same groups consulted during corporate ESG materiality stakeholder outreach. Companies use that information to inform topical materiality determinations, but I think few take things a step further to improve the messaging. Connect the dots: in looking at which stakeholders identified your most material matters, does your communication style (language, tone, etc) align with the most effective approach for those specific stakeholders?  For instance, how a company conveys its message to impacted communities should be different than how the same issues are communicated to investors.

This isn’t a new idea. I’ve written previously about Robert Eccles and Tim Youmans 2015 “Statement of Significant Audiences and Materiality” to specifically clarify the primary intended audiences for ESG reporting and context for materiality determinations. In 2019, the pair changed direction on this concept, but the original remains perhaps more valid now than ever. You can either guess at how to convey what ESG information to which audience in what manner, or you can get more out of your stakeholder outreach and materiality determinations – and effectively communicate in an appropriate, targeted way.

Our members can learn more about communicating ESG value here

If you aren’t already subscribed to our complimentary ESG blog, sign up here for daily updates delivered right to you.


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