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Future-driven tax strategies for sustainability in Retail

What tax professionals need to know about creating positive sustainability impacts through proactive management of tax strategy

Vertex Indirect Tax

Strong leaders know that their companies should serve not just shareholders, but also employees, suppliers, customers, communities, and the environment.

Businesses that actively pursue their sustainability contributions are realizing positive results. However, these contributions have significant tax strategy implications that must be proactively managed.

Learn how sustainability uniquely impacts the tax landscape and gain key insights to help future-proof your organization’s tax strategy.

You will also learn the following:

  • What tax professionals need to know about creating positive sustainability impacts through proactive management of tax strategy
  • Key environmental issues that your company can address and benefit from
  • How money managers assess sustainability efforts to make investment decisions.

Future-Driven Tax Strategies for the Evolving Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Landscape


Agenda Overview

We'd like to start with  what we see currently in terms of esg activities for business more generally we've got some surveys and a few things here we think you'll find interesting and then we'd like to jump into the overall ecosystem for esg initiatives i think   many find this quite interesting and it    is the ecosystem that's driving a lot of the change that we're seeing here spend a little time on those who are setting standards describing what good looks like and rating agencies in the esg space and then we're seeing a lot of activity     in the united states but also around the world in terms of regulatory legislative action and esg.

We'll talk a bit about that and then of course    no presentation on tax related issues would be complete without data and technology and we'll spend some time on that as it relates to esg and then maybe where do we think this thing might be going as we as we look out in the future so with that let's  jump into it.


I think you all know what esg stands for right environmental social and governance and we've highlighted a couple of  items within each of these       pillars of esg that i think highlight what this is all about but at the highest level right as we think about it the environmental lag of esg is looking at how corporations treat our planet right treat the environment in which we live and so we're focused on greenhouse gas emissions right carbon capture of   water waste pollution that type of thing and many companies are making commitments about the gains that they're making in this area as we look at the social side this is  just about how we treat other humans right whether it's health and safety in the workforce whether it's working conditions around     child labor and slave labor and that type of thing     it's kind of covering the entire gambit even things such as data protection around consumers and other parties for which companies may have their data     human rights and talent management etc. so this is that broad impact of how we treat     other human beings and then of course the government side is all about this is great that companies are doing more in these two areas of environment social but  how do companies ensure that they  actually walk the talk right so if these are areas we're making strides what governance and procedures are enclosed in basically in place to ensure that companies are actually moving forward and making real commitments in this space so   mark i know you're seeing a lot of this  with the clients that you're working with i don't know if you have just a general perspective but a high level on this as well might be on you mark i think yes i was thank you.

There's a bottom line aspect to this as well right and you look at companies that have struggled all of us retaining attracting talent in the market with coven 19 and some of the other business challenges that there are studies out there that there's a absolutely a direct correlation between attracting the talent retaining the talent with scores in esg so companies that are focusing on these specific items right are bringing the best and the brightest to their organizations and keeping them within their organization which obviously impacts the bottom line and i think you see that with the younger generation all these concepts that that brett talked about the millennials the gen z it's a top of mind item and those folks are obviously critical  members of the workforce and the young leaders of our corporations so this is going to become more and more important and we    see it i mean that's one of the advantages of working for a firm like kpmg is we're talking to a lot of clients we're remotely now at a lot of different places but     you do see this a lot and this topic is coming up a lot and it doesn't matter whether we're talking about tax i.t audit people are discussing these esg topics and how it relates to them and how it relates to their company okay good and i think the other thing too is just to note this is  for both brett and mark i think   this this is while there is some regulatory aspect around this about where you've seen the meeting in glasgow and the paris accords and all these things kind of going on  one of the more significant events was the business roundtable which actually signed on for about 181 companies and they actually put out a letter two years ago which essentially said look corporations exist more than just for profits so it's something beyond profits and you've talked about that particularly the and that the governance piece of it i think has always been there and we'll continue to be there and i think a lot of folks on the webcaster are familiar with that.

But it's these other aspects of it that go beyond the profits so ethical behavior a lot of things like that so if you want to see what some of the work is being done if you go to the business roundtable website which is a    powerful organization that only ceos from companies can belong to they've got some principles there that they've also stated so a good source if you want to go beyond these slides  make sense yeah thanks mike  i think this slide here hopefully  supports what mark and mike were just saying this is a recent survey that kpmg did with ceos and   essentially as you look at the answers to these questions  esg is front and center at the top of the house.

Ceos as well as the board level  it   that continued focus on the environmental side i think it's without question the environmental side is the big initiative right now amongst global corporates and i think this slide indicates that a lot of companies have made progress in this area they want to keep the pedal to the metal so to speak but the other thing i think this slide shows is that   ceos are turning to the social aspect of this and i think that's happening now we're seeing much more of a focus again not letting off on the gains around environmental side but much more of a shift toward the social aspect is equally important and companies putting investments and resources into all the elements we just talked about on the social side. Why don't we go to one more slide here i think is interesting this is a survey that we did focus on.

Survey Results

The tech sector and so that that's notable but we think some of the  initiatives that we're seeing here are probably more widely applicable beyond just the tech sector and so as we look at this first question here right a company's approach when claiming tax benefits right almost half of respondents now indicate that they will only take a tax position if it both complies with the letter of the law and also the spirit of the law and that's been a rapid change from where we were just a couple years ago    on that survey question in fact if you look at the bottom of this right only one in five companies now take the view that they will take any tax position for which they're legally entitled to take it right and i think that's a change that we're seeing there the next question right the tax  department's level of involvement in esg initiatives having some involvement almost 50 right slightly below  versus only a quarter of companies having relatively little involvement so we're seeing that ratchet up as well and then the donut chart on the right here right i think is also interesting where it's three quarters of companies in the tech sector anyway and this is c-suite executives this is not getting the opinion of the head of tax right but c-suite executives are of the view right that they feel they're receiving public pressure right to do more public reporting around their global tax contributions and payments.

But i think one thing that we've seen particularly with our customers is that getting things right is that it's kind of a back to the basics kind of mentality whereas before i think what you've seen is you've seen this idea of the globalization of tax rates where you've seen things kind of level out it started with the trump tax cuts  back in 2017 and it kind of continued with this idea that secretary yellen has promoted is this global minim tax and so where i think we're seeing more than anything today is that tax departments which historically their only public facing disclosure was on their 10 qs or their 10ks i think they also have to have a good story about why they're receiving certain benefits in certain geographies  how they're how they're actually doing business what benefits do they receive and is that tied to significant employment levels and significant economic impact in certain geographies so with all that and everything that went on with the OECDs over the last several years more and more companies have to    kind of have a public story tax departments do around their global footprint and what they're doing so yeah and i think  kind of a core foundation here right is limiting risk whether that's reputational risk loss of market share I think this is a pretty big stat here that   historically if there was a tax   initiative that could save the company money it was  automatic because obviously as long as it was to the letter of the law but there is now a business decision you have to make on what's the reputation if this gets out that you're pulling three million dollars from a jurisdiction that was intended to go to the schools right is that worth the negative publicity so and there have been studies that say companies that have formal esg processes such as sending out questionnaires committees doing workshops right there's clear improvement in mitigating risk and identifying additional business opportunities and it's because you're just having more collaboration about these items so i think it's a major thing that esg also helps companies avoid some of the big business risks that come with some of the things that we talked about.

ESG Ecosystem

We tried to capture the ecosystem on one slide here to give you a sense for so it is a combination of these things and they affect different companies and even different industries differently some of these members of the ecosystem will be driving change very significantly in some industries and less so and others so kind of work across this this chart right we start with our framework or standard setters right so you look at the bottom here that could be the sustainability accounting standards board for example or gi gri global reporting  information right so these are examples of companies out there that are setting standards in the esg space so that's  how do you measure your greenhouse gases and if you're making process change your changes if you're moving toward   net zero carbon emissions how do you measure that right how do you report it right so that's what the framework centers right there job is all about defining what good looks like as we move across this spectrum.

We've listed   other companies here right certainly peer companies  within the same industry are often driving change right no one wants to be at the back end of the pack maybe some might argue they don't want to be on the front end either but comfortably in the middle and so clearly peers are driving change here as well as we move across here the rating agencies are pretty significant for some companies for some industries particularly if you have institutional investors  that have large blocks and are very interested in esg they are definitely driving change and they oftentimes will look to some of the rating agencies etc. in terms of their measurement right so we have the standard setters saying what good looks like we have the rating agencies then essentially providing a grade right for each company how well are you doing against those standards and i might add the standards are kind of the wild west at this point right everybody who's in the standards game has their own view of what good looks like and it's not the same it's kind of a mess we'll talk about this later on in terms of regulatory requirements that may be trying to make some sense out of all these different standards but the rating agencies will focus on each of these pillars e s g and provide a rating and then an overall rating and that’s pretty important to many companies and to a lot of external stakeholders we've already mentioned regulators and legislators we're seeing more and more of that weigh in we're going to talk about that later on in the presentation and then mike already mentioned the business roundtable right as we look to this second to last column here and these types of trade associations and groups that are leading in often led by ceos  and chairmans of the board etc. are driving some significant change in many instances revolutionary ideas the purpose of the corporation as mike mentioned and then of course end users which could be anything from investors to customers to NGOs etc. in different industries and different companies they are weighing in heavily and have a pretty significant impact as well.

Everything right now in our firm is about hiring the right the best keeping the best and if this is top of mind for those individuals it has to be a part of our organization so from an employee standpoint that's important and then from a risk standpoint we talked about it negative publicity loss of market share right that competitors might be focusing on this and if you're not that could bring a customer take a customer away from you and move it to your competitors so     these are critical aspects to an organization and i would say what I’m seeing kind of aligns with this right that it's either very or moderately a part of the culture of an organization and  as the younger generation comes in it's going to be more and more prevalent.

I think you're right and what we've seen too is that the more public your company is the more you're concerned about your brand and it also depends too i think mark what you've also seen too is it depends what industry you're in right so to the extent that you're in some industries that affect the environment much greater you have to be more aware of these things correct yeah and i think the no-brainer is right when you say what industries are impacted by esg it's oil and gas metals and mining power generation those jump at you right off the bat because the product that is being sold directly impacts the environment and there's alternatives for energy now so obviously those are very important ones and those are what people generally think of but i think another big one that we see and it kind of goes to the next slide is consumer products right at the end of the day   a big driver for this is going to be the end consumer and   what purchasing behavior they have so companies are tailoring their marketing their branding to these esg initiatives right so just throwing out some of the stats here       customers looking to support esg initiatives   96 of the companies feel that they have some pressure and what's very interesting is this middle stat here right that well are you willing to our customers actually willing to put their money where their mouth is right so 80 of north Americans want to know the origin of the products they buy right so it is impacting purchasing behavior 69 of environmentally conscious buyers are willing to pay a premium for recycled products so i think these can impact the buying decisions which obviously impact the bottom line and we look at consumer  products there's enough a number of angles right one is the packaging right so are they using recycled materials is there a lot of plastic what is it overly  produced from a packaging standpoint there's also the concept of localism right companies want to shorten the supply chain right we don't want to use fossil fuels to deliver these products and also something that happened with covid19 with localism is are the products equally available to all groups right we see that with the covet 19 vaccine is one of the obvious examples but is the product even available to end users like internet services mobile voice so that's another concept that the companies are dealing with to make sure that   all buyers have equal access  to these products and then when you think about it companies also have the decision around e-commerce right that e-commerce now takes  3 000 store shipping points and it exponentially and increases it to everyone's doorstep right well that means that trucks have to go there there's gasoline right we know that some companies are looking into alternative energy for fueling these trucks but there is a direct impact on the environment by having to ship to every single house in the world so yes ecommerce does expand revenue expand sales but what's the cost on esg for that.

Reporting Standards

Brett i know you've got some comments on the reporting standards if you would yeah we're  going through a walk through here of some of the major drivers in the esg ecosystem right so talking about the impact the consumers have it's the discussion we have the last few minutes but let's do talk a little bit about the       the standard setters so gri as i mentioned is probably one of the more prominent ones and here we've highlighted  since this is a tax focused discussion what does good look like in the tax area around esg and you can see here that this is the headings of the chapters right you'd find it in 207 of the gri standards and here under dash one right there's an expectation that companies would publish a global tax strategy document or a global tax policy and that would describe    what they believe in right here here's who we are as a company here's how we  manage our approach to tax here's the positions we will and will not take etc. and you can see here in dash 2 right there's an expectation that you would describe the governance around tax that you have in place in your tax risk management control framework that not only identifies the level of risk that a company is willing to take but how you ensure that your decisions adhere to what you believe in dash three here is about  engagement with stakeholders and what these standard setters would like to see companies do is have a program in place that allows them to reach out to all of the members of the ecosystem that we just talked about and essentially ask them how am i doing on tax right i mean what would you like to see right so again a lot of these standard centers.

I work with companies every day that say  that's garbage I’m not going to do it right but  it's interesting to know what standard centers are looking for and the latest one that they've added effective just for this year is dash four where if you are a company that wishes to say that your overall gri compliance so that's environmental social governance the whole thing you now would then be required to do voluntary country by country tax reporting so that's the new one that they added here so   again a different standard setter would have a slightly different view what good looks like but this gives you a sense of at least what one looks like.

Corporate Social Responsibility Reports

On this slide what we tried to do here was we tried to post up with some particularly looking at the left hand side of this slide of publicly available information around taxes and as i mentioned earlier there's kind of this this flattening of the earth if you will around corporate income taxes but then esg comes into play here and you can read down and read the things about transfer pricing  how you impact locals with your employment but i guess there's two comments i kind of want to make here first of all i think a number of you are familiar with what's called the corporate social responsibility report or they call them csrs  90 of the fortune 500 actually put out a csr and these reports go anywhere from say 20 to 50 pages to over 100 pages and essentially they touch on four areas they touch on the environment they touch on ethics they touch on economics and they took and they touch on the philanthropy of a company and so it's kind of this again this idea that the corporation exists beyond profits and here's how we impact  the people around us our suppliers the people we hire the people and our consumers and so one of the things that i would say to you is I would encourage anybody on the webcast today to go look at maybe a csr report  your company probably puts one out  and if they don't then just go look at some of some of the companies particularly the high tech sector those tend to be rather detailed and  quite well written but i think what you might see in the future is beyond the footnotes in the 10q and the 10k is you're going to maybe there could be a time soon where tax departments are going to be asked to contribute to that csr and presently you don't see anything in there at this point but again this goes to the public-facing story that you have around your tax footprint within your company again fair share do you have proper transfer pricing are you doing the right remittance on transaction taxes so a lot of those things are what we're kind of starting to see in a bunch of companies i don't know if brad or mark you have anything else there or we can move on.

I think the theme of paying your fair share you're going to see that that more in this presentation but it also when you talk about the global economy right businesses are doing businesses cross-border and their transfer pricing income tax indirect tax implications for example a lot of companies that we work with are us-based selling electronic services globally while you're selling into these countries and you're currently not registered in those jurisdictions should you be collecting   vat and gst you're making money off these citizens but you're not collecting and remitting taxes and some countries like Norway and south Africa have passed legislation that foreign sellers are required to register and pay vat and gst so i think when you start looking at those cross-border transactions     this is a big play and more and more countries are going to pass legislation for foreign-based sellers more and more countries are going to ask for real-time reporting  digital compliance that's going to be a major driver.

Role of Tax Reporting

Mike, you kind of walk through the big picture of where companies are focused on reporting etc. and i think if we double click down in terms of what role does tax play into that right as we look at the rating agencies   it is that reporting prong you can see here s&p global looks at three things right that tax reporting's in the middle there and i do think it's interesting they care a lot about the fact that companies are following through on their tax compliance and that's across all aspects of income tax and indirect tax but I also think it's important to know that the tax policy that they're looking for and in the tax reporting that's important to a lot of the standard setters is only income tax right like the country by country reporting that they only want to hear about income tax right and so what we're seeing is a lot of companies that that are moving that direction of doing tax payment reporting even though the standard setters are interested in income tax many companies believe that that's only half the narrative right and that if they are if they're going to move that direction we'll talk more later on about   why that may happen but many companies are supplementing that that  what the standard setters are asking for with  information around transactional taxes etc. and maybe even many interested   global   contributions that just the footprint of the company is pushing   tax collections etc. so i think that's important to just understand what the rating agencies and the standard centers are looking for versus maybe what some other companies are doing and this other box here right the effective tax rate again that's a focus on   a company's effective income tax rate right and whether it's essentially too low right so anyway i think it's important you look here in the policy you kind of see some of the things they're looking for if you were to publish good policy if you haven't already published one these are the types of issues they would want to see you address in that policy i think it's also important to know that we don't want to overblow the tax thing right because I think it'll evolve over time but the tax right now as you look at an overall esg rating since we're talking about rating agencies here tax only accounts for anywhere from like two to five percent of your overall score right and so i think as our poll shows right some companies like yeah   maybe I’m not all that interested in esg and even if i am tax is not a huge driver  for other companies it is even though the rating agencies may not put a lot of weight on it from a reputational standpoint and maybe in connection with some of the commitments company has made their tax esg rating  does matter but anyway i thought that context might be helpful to the audience.

Clean Energy Transition

With that there's a lot of things going on at the federal level obviously there's we'll make some comments of what's going on at the state level but i think     i think brett if you want to take us through some of these thoughts.

We know that the current administration is very much focused on  clean energy transition not only globally but certainly here in this country where they have more control and opportunity to drive those initiatives that all started as we know immediately after the Biden administration came into play with rejoining the paris climate agreement that has driven a lot of initiatives with us-based multinationals i think that was evidenced in our CEO poll that we had at the very beginning of this but additional efforts right around the environment including this environmental justice executive order issued early on in the Biden administration right that focuses on adding significantly more staff  to various agencies including   some of the newer agencies such as the office of environmental justice right and so we're seeing a lot of effort from the administration in this clean energy transition with clearly a d e i right lens around what they're doing a number of legislative proposals right a lot of that focused on trying to get to a net zero in the electrical grid right providing incentives for more of a transition to clean energy including electricity extending green credits and in many instances and you kind of have to be deep into this we'll bore you with it right but making a lot of these green energy credits direct pay credits right it up to this point in time all these credits for a green energy facility only offset your tax liability well many of these developers don't have tax liability so they actually have to shift the tax benefits to equity funders that whole game would change if the administration is able to move forward on this and actually change those tax credits to be direct pay     obviously a lot of discussion around fair share of tax we see that in a lot of  the proposals that are coming out and mike already mentioned the successful political agreement at the g20 level to now have a minim tax globally that would apply to all companies  the last thing I’ll cover here quickly and then turn over my panelists for their observations right is in the disclosure front there's a lot of action happening there as well many of you are probably following that right with the sec and with the cftc as well in the federal reserve all focused on climate-related disclosures and launching a lot of commitments here as well as staffing up and all these agencies to be focused on esg matters the sec at the very beginning of the Biden administration formed an esg fraud task force and   mike seeing a bit of that I’ll let him speak to that but i think that's something to watch i will say that there has never been a task force formed at the sec in its history that has not     issued significant investigations fines and penalties so anyway we'll let mike talk more about that but  around country by country tax reporting    big surprise even to me is to see that the house actually finally passed a bill that had been kicking around there forever that would actually require country by country tax reporting     they'll probably never get by the senate but i think it's interesting to see it actually got through the house.

What is Greenwashing

Greenwashing i think are we going to get into that later brett or is that something you wanted to do no i think this is a good spot here because that's what the ESG task force is focused on so     I’d say go ahead and take that i think some people are just wondering what is greenwashing okay yeah   great question right essentially greenwashing is a pejorative term right it's  the companies are out there saying look how great I am in the environmental space and even the social space it captures both even though it seemed like it applies to environment     but in reality  it's smoke and mirrors that they're  not the clean global citizen that they might be claiming so that's brainwashing and that can be done by and well i guess one of the risks with that and why this is happening is there is no one standard out there in terms of what is what does it look like to make commitments and to make progress from an environmental standpoint and there's no set framework for reporting so that's one of the things that sec is focused on they plan to give us rules around what good looks like and what must be mandatorily reported sometime around the first part of the year there's an open public consultation now for that but this fraud task force which exists today is focused specifically on green washing and that issue is largely around companies that are making or telling everyone in an esg report which is not audited in many cases here's all the things we're doing here's our numbers we're doing so well and in fact it's not true right it's focused on that it's also focused on if you're making all these claims in an esg report and they're so significant to the strategic direction of your company and it's in that same discussion is completely omitted in your 10k or your queue there seems to be a disconnect there it seems like it's very significant relevant information that should be disclosed to investors and if it's in the 10k completely different game in terms of attestation and assurance and why is it missing.

Sample Questions from the SEC

These are the types of issues that the fraud task force is focused on in the esg space and it's all about greenwashing it is and i think what if i would point you to another source to if you go to there's a there's actually a sample question that actually is now going out from the sec to companies for their 10 qs and essentially what this question is it has like nine questions with a number of those questions they have subparts to them and essentially what the sec is doing is if you think back when I talked about the csr the corporate social responsibility report they're looking at those reports and then they're looking at seeing what you disclosed actually in the 10 q or the k and if those things if the disclosures aren't if there's much more disclosed in the csr versus the 10q as brett was kind of mentioned there they want to know why that is and so but most of those questions focus around quantitatively saying what you're doing so you can use language in a qualitative aspect but they want to know the numbers like how are you remediating things what how much water are you using a certain area are   being responsible around how much electricity or if you're if you're brewing more coal why are you doing that if you've remediated that how much have you saved so a lot of it is based around the numbers so you need to get your arms around a lot of those things that's what they're    kind of looking at i want to take one other question here from the chat and then maybe mark i know you've got some thoughts around this as well we had a question coming in it says what does the spirit of the tax law mean are there any initiatives to require responsible handling by government and i don't know if mark or brett if you want to take that one on that maybe that was the comment you made back read about the letter law and the spirit of the law so I’ll leave it to you.

I think probably one of the best ways to see that is we look globally and also in this country at the pandemic right we had government action that was providing a lot of pandemic relief from payroll protection act and other things right there were a number of companies that legally qualified for those incentives that passed on taking them and i think that in part it was because even though they legally qualified in the spirit of the law in some company's view was to provide aid and to prop up companies that were suffering financially many of these companies that legally qualified were not suffering they were doing very well during the pandemic and i think that's a good example that even though we legally qualify for this it doesn't seem consistent with the spirit behind why that rule was enacted and so we are not going to claim that benefit so that's    what they're after yeah and i think a simple way to put it is if it was publicized in the news about you doing this how would you feel about it right do you start to say i wish we hadn't done that then i would question whether it was spirit of the law     so that it's a way to look at it that if this became public and you went this route     do you feel comfortable in that position.

Key ESG Initiatives

We get this question to  at our company sometimes is are there key esg initiatives  focused on listed companies for now are they just focused on them because i know we've been talking about sec disclosures and reporting are there new requirements expected for private companies in the near term  so i don't know if mark or brett if you want to take that on i mean i guess the overall comment is esg is kind of company internally focused  for a lot of for a lot of reasons right now but if you want to take that on it you should either mike i think you can get it right it goes back to the esg ecosystem we mentioned right if it's top-down company and management's the board believes these are the right things to do and usually not everything that's on the list to do here from the standard setters but some areas they think are important they want to focus on and lean into it those companies are moving that direction whether they're public or private right but       not all companies as our survey results showed right a full one-third of companies were like yeah it's not important to us csg right we just saw that in the survey results or I don't know anything about it which would to me indicate it's not that important or you'd know about it right so yeah one or three companies this is not a big deal for them right and that's the reason why the sec and we're seeing the same thing in Europe are they believe that it's important to investors to know what that stance is if you're not investing in sustainability whatever that means to you right in terms of esg that's important to investors and you need to tell them that now the sec obviously only has the ability to push that forward with public companies right but and so when they do issue their rules and they will and they will be focused on environment they'll be focused on board diversity primarily they will not focus on tax at least not in this initial stage  but   hold on we'll see where that goes right but  that's the landscape some companies will do to their own volition but for public companies they're going to have requirements.

Green Energy Credits

There's a couple points in my panel so I’m sure it want to weigh in just on the federal side this is the  this goes back to  October’s version of that of the house bill and it keeps changing so we'll see where it goes but we just want to call out a couple things that i think are first time that we're seeing these types of things right  one that the democrats who are supporting and writing the bill right are putting in a lot more green energy credits and that's consistent with the overall direction of the administration so we're expanding these credits and as you can see some of these credits were bringing them back like the production tax credit for wind and solar right but interestingly here for the first time we're seeing that the base credit which isn't that great right is significantly different than a bonus credit and then even if you get a bonus credit you can increase that by a certain increase here which is largely driven by all these  esu initiatives we've talked about so if you start with a base and how do you get to a bonus and then add an increase it's  around these issues of prevailing wage apprenticeship and domestic content and so in order to get to the bonus rate on these energy credits right you would need to be able to build your project paying workers at a prevailing wage     you would also need to involve in that workforce  a certain level of apprentices who you're helping them develop the skills and abilities to do well at that type of a job and all of these things you can see kind of in this detail if you were to miss some of these things so as it turns out from the secretary of labor decides you did not pay a prevailing wage well you could pay each of the workers that difference plus a fine of five thousand dollars per effective employee you can kind of see that's rippling out the same through the apprenticeship etc. to get that bonus amount right the facility has to have domestic content in it right you can kind of see a sense of that as well if you wanted to get the direct pay credit rather than having it just offset tax but this is money that the government's going to pay you directly you also have to meet this domestic content so i think this is kind of a first in many instances of not only providing some tax incentives but then weaving in very clear esg type initiatives around the social aspect that would drive the amount of that credit and how you get that credit and i think that's actually fascinating to watch how that might develop.

ESG for Educational Institutions

As the private the private companies it just depends on how important it is to the educational institutions and i would assume particularly at the university level there's a lot of students care about that stuff so yeah it's huge in that space right and we're working with a number of universities that   frankly are very focused on   their   environmental side of things right and making some pretty big investments in empower producing agreements ppas right to purchase clean energy to power the universities and things like that and they're making  it very public with their student body and all the rest of it so i mean that's just an example but it's a big deal in the educational arena.

Consolidation of Reporting Requirements

Reporting requirements SASB tcfd grl we covered obviously some of those as having multiple standards is time-consuming versus spending more time acting on them it's the wild west right now right brett i mean it's kind of like that's we don't have these standards quite yet yeah it    is and that that is definitely a perceived problem no one's happy with that right from investors who are trying to consume this material the companies are trying to figure out what to say regulators are not happy with it either my own view is that we will see a consolidation of these standards  exactly how that happens will be yet to  be determined one of the things the sec is asked about in their public comment is whether they should be prescriptive on rules or whether they should maybe make reference to some of the primary standard centers and indicate that that’s the preferred direction to go and you have to disclose which of the standards that you're using and adhere to them so but one way or another i think we're definitely going to see a consolidation because it is a concern and it's it does cloud the efforts that companies are trying to make and the information that investors and others need.


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Brett Weaver
Sustainability Tax Leader, KPMG US
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Mark Rems
Principal, Tax, SALT, KPMG US

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