Debating disclosure: the pros and cons of corporate transparency

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DLA Piper

160 Aldersgate Street



United Kingdom

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Event description
Join us to discuss the risk/return profile of corporate reporting and disclosure on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

About this Event

This event will explore the tension within companies regarding their reporting and disclosure on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to build a better understanding of the risk/return profile of transparency and thereby help companies to balance competing interests.

More on the event:

Businesses are facing increasing demands from their stakeholders, especially consumers, investors, and regulators, to be more transparent about their business practices and their exposure to risks related to their environmental, social, and governance (ESG)performance.

Initiatives that rank companies’ performance based on information in the public domain, such as the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign, and the World Benchmarking Alliance, are creating new incentives for leading companies to be transparent about their ESG performance.

Pushing against the trend for more transparency are the costs of data collection, requirements for assurance, exposure to legal jeopardy, and legitimate perceptions of reputational risk.

The lines between mandatory and voluntary, compliance and non-compliance, financial and non-financial are all blurring.

These changes in the corporate reporting landscape and – more generally – in the context of sustainability information disclosure, are creating new conflicts within companies as different departments try to reconcile their sometimes very different views of the costs and benefits of transparency.

Join this event to:

  • Hear the arguments for and against increased ESG disclosures.
  • Get insights on how companies can respond to external demands of more transparency, while remaining within the constraints of commercial and legal sensitivity.
  • Understand how conflicting objectives and priorities for ESG reporting can be balanced.

Who should attend?

  • Professionals with responsibility for corporate reporting and disclosure.
  • Professionals with responsibility for ESG performance.
  • Lawyers, both inhouse and independent.


13:30 – 14:00 Registration & refreshments

14:00 – 14:10 Welcome

Steve Kenzie, Executive Director, Un Global Compact Network UK

Ian Hagg, Director of Responsible Business, DLA Piper

14:10 – 15:00 Disclosure Case Studies: Vodafone and HSBC on creating a trusted brand through transparency

Demonstrating leadership and a truly responsible approach requires full transparency. Sometimes it involves communicating failures or oversights. How do you define the right balance of quality data shared with stakeholders and competitors alike? How do you get senior leadership buy-in? Hear how leading companies are driving transparency ahead of competitive advantage.

Tom Salisbury, Senior Sustainable Business Manager, Vodafone Group

Gemma Rastelli, Senior Manager, Sustainable Finance, HSBC Holdings Plc

15:00 – 16:00 Debate

This House believes that companies should put information into the public domain only when they are legally required to do so.


Catherine Howarth, CEO, ShareAction

Charles Tilley, CEO, IIRC

Sarah Ellington, Legal Director - Litigation and Regulation, DLA Piper

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee break

16:15 – 17:00 Roundtable discussions

Each table will discuss a dilemma for 30 minutes with help from a facilitator. At the end of the session, facilitators from some tables will be asked to report back to the rest of the attendees.

17:00 – 17:05 Closing remarks

17:05 – 18:00 Reception

Please note: This event will be held under Chatham House rule.

This event is kindly hosted by:

Date and Time


DLA Piper

160 Aldersgate Street



United Kingdom

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