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Carbon Accounting

Persefoni under attack by anti-ESG lobbyists – decoded

Article Overview

Normally, I would not consider spurious attacks on Persefoni like the one Friday worthy of a response. However, because organizations with close ties to dark money groups have personally attacked one of our senior leaders through a major media company, I feel compelled to correct the record and provide context they have deliberately excluded.

First, I want to highlight that the two organizations presenting these unsubstantiated claims have made numerous attacks on other companies as part of a radical anti-ESG movement. Their assault on Persefoni is merely the latest in a vast campaign designed to block efforts to address the economic risks associated with climate change. 

Consumers’ Research and Energy Policy Advocates (“EPA”) carry names that sound neutral and balanced. But make no mistake, they both have deep ties to various industrial and energy lobbies with a specific and targeted anti-ESG agenda. Having previously worked in the C-Suite of a Fortune 500 Oil & Gas company, while I recognize that not everyone in the industry supports bad actors, I am sadly quite familiar with the behavior of biased, agenda-driven firms like these. 

Our highly respected Chief Sustainability Officer, Kristina Wyatt, was recently targeted by these groups, accusing her of ethical violations given her work at the SEC prior to joining Persefoni in February 2022. The claim of impropriety is not only unfounded but absurd, and likely intended just as much to muddy the water and pressure the SEC ahead of its decision. Indeed, before joining the company, Kristina actually sought and obtained confirmation from the SEC’s Office of Ethics Counsel confirming that there was no ethical violation or restriction related to her joining Persefoni.  

Let me offer some actual facts. As experts in the narrow and rather niche field of carbon accounting software, the SEC first spoke with Persefoni and other industry experts in 2021 while conducting stakeholder engagement for its climate disclosure proposal – particularly on the economic impact of any rule. The agency performed this due diligence in part as mandated by the Administrative Procedures Act. Persefoni provided input on how software reduces hours of manual processing and provides more accurate carbon emissions data, reducing accounting costs for businesses. 

There was nothing surprising or hidden in this communication; they were publicly disclosed by the SEC as early as April 2022 in the proposing release for The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors, and highlighted by Persefoni. Furthermore, meetings between SEC officials and entities outside of the agency relating to the climate rule are, and always have been, publicly available here.

Our customers can be found all around the world, in virtually every industry vertical. Most have already begun voluntarily calculating their climate disclosure requirements at the behest of investors and to prepare for regulations in their jurisdictions or others in which they operate. This includes countless US-based public companies. Numerous studies by highly respected, independent research firms support that many companies today voluntarily calculate and report their greenhouse gas emissions, including Scope 3, as noted by the recent MSCI report and recently highlighted by Apple’s endorsement of California SB 253.

Thus, as anyone actively engaged in the field of carbon accounting knows, it is not surprising that a significant majority of corporate leaders recently surveyed by PwC LLC shared that they are already prepared for pending climate disclosure rules, with more than half saying they see climate change as a risk to their business.

Climate risk is financial risk. Persefoni was honored to have shared with the SEC data on the cost/time savings associated with carbon accounting software vs. manual processing during the latter’s due diligence process. We will continue to partner with businesses and provide award-winning, generative AI carbon management solutions that ensure a cost-effective, accurate way of measuring and disclosing emissions, purpose-built from day one for reporting to regulators. We will not be influenced by groups such as Consumers’ Research or Energy Policy Advocates engaging in their overt activism for the anti-ESG movement.

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