This week's issue again has a strong ESG focus. Ahead of the planned introduction of a new mandatory climate-risk disclosure regime in Australia next year, the AASB and AUASB have released a joint report tracking trends in climate disclosure by ASX listed companies. On the risk front, APRA has called on boards to prioritise addressing the data risk management gaps identified through a multi-year pilot exercise - the 100 Critical Risk Data Elements (CRDE) Pilot. Separately, a new report from the Governance Institute of Australia into leaders' perceptions of how organisations and boards are approaching data governance flags multiple gaps. On the financial services front, Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones has given an update on the government's approach to the implementation of key QAR reforms, the banks have announced a range of new anti-scam measures and more….

Boards and Directors Navigation

  • Data governance | APRA calls on boards to prioritise addressing data risk management gaps 
  • Data governance | New report highlights a lack of confidence in boards' understanding of current data governance challenges 

DiversityNavigation

  • (Some) progress: Australia's gender pay gap has narrowed to 21.7% 

Meetings and Proxy AdvisersNavigation

  • 'Two strikes' rule: New analysis suggests a 'strike' is likely to hurt company value 
  • ASIC Chair points to the 'two strike' rule as an important means of enabling shareholders to hold boards to account on a range of issues (beyond pay) 
  • 2023 AGM season | Recent string of 'strikes' continues 

Disclosure and ReportingNavigation

  • New report highlights trends in climate disclosure by ASX listed companies 
  • Further steps to support the planned introduction of mandatory climate disclosure in Australia 
  • In Brief | Combatting greenwashing: The UK Financial Conduct Authority has released final sustainability disclosure and product labelling rules 

RegulatorsNavigation

  • Maintaining market integrity: ASIC Chair flags three areas where the regulator considers investor relations professionals should increase 'transparency and engagement' 

ESG Navigation

  • Top Story | Powering the energy transition: A renewable energy update 
  • Status update | NSW Bill to legislate 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction targets, create a new monitoring body delayed 
  • Support appears to be building for the Climate Change Amendment (Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity) Bill 2023 (Cth) 
  • Greenwashing enforcement action: ACCC accepts CEU from yoghurt manufacturer over ocean plastic claims 
  • New Hope shareholders reject shareholder capital protection proposal 
  • How to set nature targets: PRB releases new TNFD aligned guidance for banks 
  • Successful engagement: Corning Inc sets science-based GHG targets, agrees to develop climate transition plan 
  • In Brief | The Insurance Council of Australia has released an updated 'climate change roadmap' outlining the industry’s commitment and the progress achieved to date towards achieving net zero emissions by 2030 for operations and 2050 across the entire value chain 
  • In Brief | Four suggested reforms to enable the government to deliver on its goal to protect 30% of land by 2030 - New report calls on the government to: a) establish a $5billion fund to purchase land 'of high biodiversity value for new public, private or Indigenous Protected Areas'; b) continue to invest in Indigenous Protected Areas; c) support private land conservation efforts including through direct federal support to state/territory conservation covenant programs; and d) partner with states and territories to 'identify areas of high conservation significance on unallocated land and transition them into conservation tenures'. 

Financial ServicesNavigation

  • Top Story | Banks announce Scam Safe Accord 
  • QAR Implementation | Government has reiterated it is a case of 'if, not when' safe harbour and SOA reforms will be implemented 
  • APRA consults on new cross-industry standard to consolidate all existing standards on definitions for ADIs and insurers 
  • New Senate Inquiry into insurance in retirement launched 
  • Consultation opens on options to regulate the use of genetic testing results in life insurance underwriting 

Risk ManagementNavigation

  • National Anti-Scam Centre: First impact report shows 16% drop in scam losses 
  • Privacy protections | Government to introduce 'Digital ID' legislation, announces tougher 'anti-fraud controls' 
  • OAIC | Freedom of Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner appointments announced 

Click here for the full Governance News pdf.