September 20, 2019

Rep. Vargas’ ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2019 Passes the Financial Service Committee

Washington, D.C. (September 20, 2019) – Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51) released the following statement after securing the passage of H.R. 4329, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2019, in the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee:

“I am glad to see that my bill, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2019, passed out the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. The bill will allow companies’ commitment to sustainability to be easily compared and evaluated by investors. We must have a standard definition of materiality for both investors and companies that also includes environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters.

“Investors have increasingly been demanding public companies to disclose ESG information. As a solution, this bill will require public companies to disclose certain ESG matters in annual filings with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). It will also require public companies to disclose a description of the company’s views on the link between ESG metrics and their long-term business performance annually in their proxy statements.

“ESG matters generally include issues relating to environmental sustainability, such as climate change; social issues, such as human rights and labor practices; and governance issues, such as gender, racial, and ethnic diversity at both executive and board levels. This information is crucial, not just for mitigating reputational risk, but also for evaluating a companies’ financial performance.

“The bill will also create a Sustainable Finance Advisory Committee that would make recommendations on which ESG metrics public companies should be required to disclose. In addition, the committee will recommend policy changes that would also encourage the flow of capital toward sustainable finance.”

Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border.  Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress.  He serves on the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.