Responsible tax conduct is an increasingly important ESG consideration
This is a guest blog post from Natasha Turner, Global Editor at ESG Clarity, for Fair Tax Week 2023.
Fair Tax Week 2023 (8th-18th June) is a recognition of the businesses and organisations that are proud to promote responsible tax conduct, and a celebration of the positive contribution this makes to society.
Register now to hear Natasha, and speakers from Marshalls plc, UN PRI and Epworth Investment Management, speak at our ‘ESG: Why investors should build a robust approach to responsible tax conduct ‘ webinar, 12:00 – 13:00 BST on 13th June.
Fair tax conduct has been called the ‘intentionally overlooked part of ESG’ but that is starting to change.
Investors have always looked at companies’ tax disclosures, and tax reporting and transparency is clearly an indicator of, if not ‘good’ governance, then at least enough oversight to have all ducks in their proverbial rows.
And if the subsection of investors focused on ESG weren’t already asking questions, they certainly will be now that the Global Reporting Initiative standards used by more than 10,000 organisations includes reporting on tax, the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council includes tax disclosures a core component of its ESG reporting metrics, ratings agencies are increasingly including tax in their ESG scores, and the EU’s Corporate Social Responsibility Directive includes a tax component.
But just like how reporting on modern slavery doesn’t eradicate it, some responsible investors want to go further than encouraging tax reporting and actually ensure the tax paid by the companies they invest in is fair.
This is easier said than done, as panellist Andrew Harper, Epworth’s head of ethics, explained in an ESG Clarity podcast last year, but investors themselves have an opportunity to lead by example – as Jupiter, Ethical Investors and Schroders Personal Wealth have done by receiving the Fair Tax Mark.
The steps investors can take to ensure responsible tax conduct at their own businesses and those they invest in, as well as why this is an increasingly important part of their ESG analysis, will be explored in this webinar – we hope to see you there!