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It’s a challenging time for executives, specifically those directors and officers of public companies. In addition to reaching profitability targets and strategic goals evaluated by shareholders on a quarterly basis, public companies are increasingly expected to establish and disclose their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and progress. Although ESG considerations are not necessarily new for many public companies, media attention, litigation and regulation surrounding ESG has been amplified recently.

Certain ESG considerations, such as those that fall under the social umbrella, have universal application, while others may be more industry specific. Social considerations such as racial and gender equality and social justice are at the forefront of a recent litigation trend, where shareholders have challenged corporate statements concerning diversity and inclusion (D&I). As a result, many employers are increasing their attention to the social component, and rightly so. A recent study found that millennials and Gen Z generations place greater importance on social concerns than their predecessors do, and will expect more from their employers in this area.

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