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Article summary:

1. Covid-19 responses and ESG strategies share similarities in risk management: Companies that have built climate change risk preparedness into their corporate strategies will likely be better prepared for ongoing effects of the pandemic. The pandemic has forced many companies to rethink their long-term risk management strategy, considering not just ESG and climate risks, but also pandemic and recession risks.

2. Parallels between Covid-19 responses and ESG analyses: Both the risk of a pandemic and the risks posed by climate change are not easily predictable, but they are also not unforeseeable. Covid-19 and climate change impact the same ESG performance areas, such as workplace safety, data privacy, job security, community impact, business continuity, and effective governance.

3. Importance of ESG reporting practices: Companies that have historically incorporated ESG considerations into their strategic planning are likely those that are most readily prepared to analyze—and disclose to stakeholders—the risks now posed by a viral pandemic and recession. Investors and stakeholders were demanding increased assessment and disclosure of climate risks prior to the pandemic, which is likely to continue post-Covid-19. Companies may want to take advantage of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD’s) recommendations when carrying out a climate-risk scenario analysis and reporting on how it will identify, assess, manage, and integrate climate-related risks into its overall risk management strategy.

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