Elevate Your ESG Game

Elevate Your ESG Game

Panelists:
André Gevargiz, Director of IR, Mondelēz International
Sarah Whitford, Director of IR, Ventas, Inc.

Moderator: Brian Matt, CFA, Director - Head of ESG Advisory, New York Stock Exchange


KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Sarah Whitford explained that Ventas has come a long way in the past five years on its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) program, which now is led by an ESG committee that includes the CEO, includes a detailed sustainability report and has garnered multiple awards. She has seen a “huge uptick” in ESG interest due to the pandemic (e.g., workplace safety and employee retention), social issues including those given wider prominence by George Floyd’s death, and natural disasters that led to supply chain disruptions. Recent investor outreach included an ESG non-deal roadshow for a general buy-side audience and top 20 shareholders, as well as periodic check-ins with investors “we haven’t heard from in a while” on ESG matters.
  • André Gevargiz explained that Mondelēz has dedicated ESG engagement and reporting resources because it has expanded its ESG reporting and outreach. To educate major shareholders and key ESG investor targets, the company conducts two active engagements per year. This includes an annual ESG investor event that includes prerecorded presentations and a half hour of Q&A, and press releases to announce progress toward milestones. Gevargiz’s view is that it’s more important to “get credit” for SASB disclosures but there is “less scrutiny” about the number of SASB disclosures the company offers as long as its general level of disclosure is in line with industry peers and you can discuss your path to full disclosure – and investors aren’t expecting “full disclosure” to happen in a single year, but over three or four years.