ESG factors continue to become the focus of regulatory guidance, consumer demand, investor goals, academic research, and industry efforts to manage risk and maximize return. This ASTM work effort seeks to build on expanding and recent ESG initiatives in the US and worldwide. In February 2021, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that its 2021 priorities will include revising and updating its 2010 guidance to public companies regarding existing disclosure requirements as they apply to climate change matters. The SEC Division of Enforcement announced in spring 2021 the creation of a Climate and ESG Task Force which will work closely with other SEC Divisions and Offices, including the Divisions of Corporation Finance, Investment Management, and Examinations. Also in spring 2021, the SEC issued a request for public comment on ESG disclosure related to climate and community. In spring 2020, the United Nations Environment Programme (USEP) Finance Initiative released its updated Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) which provide guidance for industry, academia, regulators, investors, consumers, and communities. To date, the UNEP PRI guidance, initiated in 2006, has been adopted by over 3,000 signatories representing 60 countries worldwide.
The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.