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In this week's Talking ESG episode, we discuss how to address data quality and the processes needed for investment-grade ESG reporting.
In our Talking ESG podcast series, we give an end-to-end look at what it takes to build effective ESG reporting in today’s environment. From investor to stakeholder expectations, from global frameworks to data, process, and controls—there’s something in it for everyone.
This week Heather Horn sat down with Brigham McNaughton, a managing director in PwC’s ESG practice, to discuss a topic that’s top of mind for many preparers: data quality and the processes needed to produce investment-grade ESG reporting.
Topics include:
  • 1:43 - What is the current state of data quality? As ESG reporting becomes more prevalent, the ability to produce quality data has become a necessity. Brigham gives listeners an overview of the questions companies face and how they can go about taking stock of the maturity level of their processes.
  • 8:45 - The challenges of ESG disclosures. Brigham and Heather discuss some of the challenges of ESG reporting and how to move forward when you can’t get to the right data.  For companies that are at an early stage of process maturity, it is often more efficient to address data quality on the front end before deciding what to report.
  • 17:46 - What are some best practices? Brigham shares some practices he has observed while working with various companies, including what the leaders in this space are doing. He covers how to identify a team, set up processes, and even appropriate governance.
  • 30:48 - What departments should be involved? There are many ways to advance the quality of data in ESG reporting. Brigham explains which departments often have a hand in helping move the needle on data quality.
  • 41:19 - Key takeaways. Brigham and Heather discuss some practical advice for listeners as they begin or continue to evolve their ESG processes.
About our guest
Brigham McNaughton is a managing director in PwC’s ESG practice. He has served global clients in a range of industries including utilities, automotive, and financial services, advising on core ESG strategy development and stakeholder engagement. Brigham has worked closely with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) on a variety of reporting initiatives.
About our host
Heather Horn is a Deputy Chief Accountant in PwC’s National Office and leader of the thought leadership group, responsible for developing our communications strategy and conveying firm positions on accounting and financial reporting matters. She is the engaging host of PwC’s accounting and reporting weekly podcast and quarterly webcast series, as well as periodic webcasts for the power and utilities industry. With over 30 years of experience, Heather’s accounting and auditing expertise includes financial instruments and rate-regulated accounting.
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