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Statistically Sustainable

Apr 12, 2023


As seen in Forbes & Fortune

EisnerAmper’s sustainability consultants are helping companies identify and improve ESG-related practices.

Once in effect, the impact of the new SEC climate change rule will ripple throughout the U.S. and global economy. “The much-anticipated rule applies to publicly traded companies, but its reach includes businesses up and down the value chain as well as anyone seeking to attract investors,” says Danielle Barrs, director of ESG and sustainability solutions at EisnerAmper, one of the largest business consulting firms in the world. “Managers who once asked if sustainability strategies are right for their businesses now have their answer.”

An estimated 66% of large companies around the world have at least one asset at high risk of experiencing potential environmental hazards. The level of specificity demanded by the new regulations standardizes many of the metrics organizations use to report carbon gas emissions, use of clean energy, and energy efficiency. Barrs, who holds a master’s degree in environmental economics and energy from Duke University, says the rules will help bring clarity to investors as well as CFOs, chief investment officers, asset managers, and others. “Disclosures will be more consistent, making it easier to compare peer organizations apple to apple,” she explains. “Companies will no longer be able to hide what they are or aren’t doing. More importantly, they will gain new opportunities to demonstrate their commitment to managing risks, optimizing opportunities, and pursuing effective ESG strategies.”


Why is a top 20 New York City CPA firm on the forefront of ESG consulting? “Known for quality control, CPA firms with ESG advisory services are perfectly suited to meet the formidable task of gathering, verifying, and analyzing masses of data,” explains Barrs.

EisnerAmper’s sustainability consulting practice weds the broad-based ESG experience of Barrs’ team with powerful accounting technology to help organizations disclose dozens of metrics. Beyond carbon emissions, clean energy, and energy efficiency, ESG factors also include waste, water, DEI, cybersecurity, and more.

Barrs has in-depth understanding and real-world experience in this critical discipline. Studying under pioneers in the field, she is a first-generation sustainability specialist. “Early on, we were simply called ‘environmentalists.’ No one was asking about sustainability. We fought for it,” she says. “Now this important topic owns center stage at business conferences and in C-suite discussions.”

While the details can seem overwhelming, existing companies are already using ESG protocols. “Clients are often surprised that many of their strategies initially developed for profit maximation or simply because ‘it’s the right thing to do’ also fall under the ESG umbrella,” says Barrs. “Conversely, incorporating ESG in core business practices has proven to increase value and investor confidence, and decrease long-term risk.”

The good news: Companies that successfully factor in ESG issues in their decision-making tend to prosper and experience long-term sustainable growth. Lowering energy costs lowers operating costs. Recruitment and retention of millennials and Gen Xers become easier. Identifying and addressing exposure to environmental risks improve valuation.

“Done well, implementing an ESG policy can be a win win for organizations, stakeholders, and the communities they serve,” concludes Barrs.

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Danielle Barrs

Danielle Barrs is the Director of ESG and Sustainability Solutions in the firm with over 10 years of experience in environmental management, sustainable business, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and environmental, social and governance (ESG).

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