World-class Representation for Whistleblowers Who Report ESG Violations
Whistleblowers who report violations of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) requirements serve a vital role in protecting investors, ensuring that corporations do not violate environmental laws, and are governed according to the strict requirements of the US securities laws. Compliance with ESG requirements serves both public interests and protects investors from damages related to environmental factors such as climate change.
Former SEC Acting Chair and Commissioner Allison Herren Lee helped propel ESG issues to the forefront of the agency’s agenda. She launched an enforcement task force to evaluate and pursue tips, referrals, and whistleblower complaints on ESG-related issues, helped craft rules that directed the SEC to gather public input on corporate climate change disclosures, and helped clamp down on “greenwashing.” She is recognized as the national and international leader on ESG issues.
Former Commissioner Lee leads KKC’s groundbreaking efforts to ensure that SEC rules governing environmental ESG issues are strictly enforced, and that whistleblowers who raise ESG issues can benefit from the best representation available anywhere in the United States.
“[Whistleblowers] display extraordinary bravery to expose fraud and wrongdoing, and to shine light in some very dark places. In doing so, they reinforce our fundamental values – that the rule of law matters, and no one is, or should be, above the law… They help create transparency, and from transparency flows crucial accountability.”
Whistleblowers Fight Tremendous Odds and Deserve Better
Statement by Allison as SEC Commissioner, September 23, 2020
Read Full Statement
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are increasingly important to investors and stakeholders who want to invest in companies that demonstrate responsible and sustainable practices.
However, some companies may engage in fraudulent practices related to their ESG practices, such as misrepresenting their sustainability practices, social impact, or corporate governance to make them seem more responsible and sustainable than they actually are. If you are aware of ESG fraud or regulatory violations happening at your company, you have the right to anonymously and confidentially report your concerns to the SEC and qualify for large financial rewards, if your information holds the wrongdoer’s accountable.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has increased enforcement efforts against ESG-related misconduct. Through the SEC Whistleblower Program, qualified whistleblowers, individuals who voluntarily report original information that leads to a successful enforcement action, are entitled to monetary awards and anti-retaliation protections. Examples of enforcement actions taken by the SEC are set forth in the below list.
Commissioner Lee’s Statements on ESG
Statements on ESG
- It’s Not Easy Being Green: Bringing Transparency and Accountability to Sustainable Investing (May 25, 2022)
- Climate, ESG, and the Board of Directors: “You Cannot Direct the Wind, But You Can Adjust Your Sails” (June 28, 2021)
- A Climate for Change: Meeting Investor Demand for Climate and ESG Information at the SEC (March 15, 2021)
- Statement on the Review of Climate-Related Disclosure (February 24, 2021)
Climate Related Disclosures
- Playing the Long Game: The Intersection of Climate Change Risk and Financial Regulation (November 5, 2020)
- Regulation S-K and ESG Disclosures: An Unsustainable Silence (August 26, 2020)
- Shelter from the Storm: Helping Investors Navigate Climate Change Risk (March 21, 2022)
- ESG Trinity: Disclosure, Materiality and Enforcement (October 12, 2021)
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ESG Fraud?
ESG fraud refers to illegal conduct by companies related to their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. There are numerous regulations governing ESG requirements.
ESG fraud can take many shapes and forms, but often includes misrepresenting a company’s sustainability practices, social impact, or corporate governance to make the company seem more responsible and sustainable to investors than it is.
Reporting violations of ESG requirements or fraud is important because it can help to hold companies accountable for engaging in such illegal practices and prevent financial losses and reputational damage for investors.
Can I blow the whistle on ESG fraud or violations?
If you are aware of ESG violations happening at your company, you can report this misconduct confidentially as an anonymous whistleblower under the SEC’s Dodd-Frank Act program. You should first contact a whistleblower attorney who can help you prepare a whistleblower complaint and file it with the appropriate regulatory agency. To file anonymously you are required to hire an attorney.