The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a change to the rules governing how much climate related data a publicly traded company must share. Some Georgia companies are already ahead of the curve. GPB's Grant Blankenship has more.


Some of Georgia’s biggest companies, including AFLAC in Columbus, may already be close to the mark of a proposed federal climate reporting rule. 

Some of Georgia’s biggest companies may already be close to the mark of a proposed federal rule change to climate reporting for publicly traded companies. 

That’s the conclusion of analysis by the climate reporting group Climate Central of the proposed rule change by the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The SEC rule would enhance the levels of information companies need to share with potential investors when it comes to how climate change affects the company’s business model, details of the company’s plan to cut carbon emissions (if it exists) and how much climate warming emissions for which the company is responsible.

Climate Central looked at pre-existing analysis of that kind of reporting conducted by an environmentally minded corporate watchdog, CDP. 

CDP found that five Georgia companies were already almost as transparent about climate issues as the SEC may eventually ask. The five companies and their letter grades for climate transparency as assigned by CPD follow. 

  • AFLAC: B-
  • UPS: B
  • Home Depot: A-
  • Coca Cola Company: A-
  • Southern Company: A- 

The grades reflect how honest the companies are about their operations and climate impact and not necessarily how well they perform in climate change mitigation. But as the SEC rule change explains, the aim is to help investors make climate change-informed decisions about where they would like to put their money. 

Public comment for the SEC rule change is open now. If approved, it would go into effect in December.