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The role of ESG ratings in investment decisions and corporate sustainability strategies is undeniable…In the coming years, and with the EU setting the tone, we can anticipate further regulation of rating agencies and the standardisation of methodologies. It is also foreseeable that double materiality assessments will inform and complement ESG ratings, which will play a pivotal role in shaping investment strategies and decisions Lauren Hyatt Senior Consultant

The importance of ESG ratings for investment

With huge interest and the growing importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria, investors need a way to objectively assess a company’s ESG performance. An ESG criteria is thought to help investors consider the ‘unmeasured’ or ‘unrepresented’ environmental, social and governance topics when making investment decisions. It reveals data that traditional financial analysis doesn’t usually capture, speaking to a company’s sustainability in its broadest sense. This has led to the flourishing of several ESG Rating Agencies, such as Sustainalytics, MSCI and FTSE ESG, which assess companies globally on their ESG performance and make this data available to their clients. These ESG ratings are designed to help investors identify and understand financially material ESG risks to a business. Companies are evaluated based on publicly available information such as media sources and annual reports, with scores given for each material ‘E’, ‘S’ and ‘G’ topic, alongside an overall score. Investors use these unique scores as a proxy of ESG performance. Companies that score well on ESG metrics are believed to anticipate future risks and opportunities better, be more disposed to longer-term strategic thinking, and focus on long-term value creation.

The impact of ESG ratings on investment

With investors using ESG scores in their investment strategies, ESG criteria have turned out to be incredibly valuable, with ESG portfolios continually outperforming traditional portfolios. A study by Frontiers on the impact of ESG on financial performance indicates that companies that integrate ESG principles into their strategies tend to attract a broader range of investors who prioritise sustainability and social responsibility. This can lead to increased capital flow and enhanced financial performance.1 In a similar vein a meta-analysis of over 2000 studies confirmed that the responsible, as well as the economic case for ESG investment is tangible.2 Conversely, the consequences of a poor rating can be significant. If, for instance, your company received a poor rating from one ESG data provider, your stock may be considered an ‘unsustainable asset’ by investors and be excluded from their investment portfolio. If multiple investors follow this reasoning, this can eventually negatively impact your stock price. In Europe, where most assets under management are invested in ESG funds or strategies with some sustainability-related focus, understanding your ESG scores and improving year-on-year is important for your company to continue to attract investment.3

ESG ratings as a tool for internal benchmarking and improvement

It is also essential to recognise that ESG ratings can be a valuable internal benchmarking tool to guide decision-making and improve sustainability performance. An evaluation by an external expert on your company’s ESG performance gives an independent view of performance and how it compares to competitors and peers. This can be a powerful incentive for taking action and steps towards increasing performance. Further, the assessment can provide a valid source of information to help internal advocates promote change and highlight areas of particular weakness and strength.

ESG ratings under scrutiny

Despite their value, ESG ratings have faced criticism for inconsistencies and a lack of standardisation across different providers (i.e Sustainalytics, MSCI and FTSE ESG). This variability has prompted calls for greater methodological rigour and transparency within the ESG rating industry. By standardising ESG assessment criteria, these regulations are expected to foster greater confidence in ESG ratings and support more informed investment decisions. This approach ensures that companies and investors consider how sustainability issues affect financial performance and how corporate actions impact broader societal goals.

In a significant development, on 13 June 2023, the European Commission (EC) presented a proposal to regulate ESG rating providers. The proposed rules concern the following:

  1. Authorisation and supervision by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) of third-party providers of ESG ratings and scores
  2. Separation of business for the prevention and management of conflicts of interests
  3. Proportionate and principle-based organisational requirements,
  4. minimum transparency requirements to the public on ratings methodologies and objectives and more granular information to subscribers and rated companies
  5. Transparency of fees and requirements for fees to be fair, reasonable and non-discriminator
  6. Possibility for third-country providers to operate on the EU market if equivalence, endorsement or recognition.4

On 05 February 2024, the EC reached a provisional agreement on a proposal. The provisional political agreement is subject to approval by the Council and the Parliament before going through the formal adoption procedure. The regulation will start applying 18 months after its entry into force. The new rules aim to govern the reliability and comparability of ESG ratings, ensuring they provide a more accurate reflection of a company’s sustainability performance. It is rumoured that the double materiality assessment methodologies for financial impact may inform ESG rating methodologies. Introducing double materiality into ESG assessments and ratings brings a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of a company’s sustainability performance. It will encourage companies to adopt a more holistic view of their role in society and the environment, driving them towards strategies that mitigate risks, enhance financial performance, and contribute positively to societal and environmental outcomes.5

Navigating ESG Ratings in the era of double materiality

In 2024, the concept of double materiality will become increasingly central to understanding the full impact of ESG factors on investment decisions and corporate performance. Double materiality extends beyond traditional financial materiality to encompass both the financial impact of sustainability issues on a company and the company’s impact on society and the environment. This dual perspective on materiality is critical in the context of ESG investment and reporting, as it acknowledges that the significance of certain ESG factors can vary.

From a financial materiality standpoint, investors are concerned with how ESG factors can affect a company’s financial condition and operational performance. For instance, a company’s carbon footprint may have direct financial implications regarding regulatory compliance costs, potential fines, and the shift in consumer preferences towards more sustainable products. Conversely, the broader lens of double materiality also considers how a company’s activities impact the environment and society. This includes the company’s contribution to climate change, engagement with local communities, and governance practices. This aspect of materiality reflects a growing recognition within the investment community that companies play a significant role in addressing global challenges such as climate change, social inequality, and corporate governance.

The future of ESG ratings

The role of ESG ratings in investment decisions and corporate sustainability strategies is undeniable. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, with a growing emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices, ESG ratings will remain a key tool for investors and companies. They facilitate informed investment decisions and drive companies towards more sustainable and responsible business practices, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and equitable global economy. In the coming years, and with the EU setting the tone, we can anticipate further regulation of rating agencies and the standardisation of methodologies. It is also foreseeable that double materiality assessments will inform and complement ESG ratings, which will play a pivotal role in shaping investment strategies and decisions.

Author: Lauren Hyatt, Senior Consultant, Simply Sustainable

  1. https://www.frontiersin.org
  2. https://www.arabesque.com/2019/03/25/a-new-horizon/
  3. https://www.msci.com/www/research-report/funds-and-the-state-of-european
  4. https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases
  5. https://www.lse.ac.uk/granthaminstitute/news/double-materiality-what-is-it-and-why-does-it-matter/

The rise of environmental claims

As more and more consumers become aware of climate risks and try to adopt more sustainable practices, businesses are sensing an opportunity to tap into the green market. With this comes the danger of unsubstantiated claims about products and services, leading to consumers believing that a company’s products and services are ‘environmentally friendly’. In the UK alone, 72% of consumers consider sustainability in purchasing decisions.1 However, as environmental claims by businesses become more prevalent, so do instances of greenwashing. The good news is that governments are becoming increasingly aware of this trend and beginning to crack down. But, we may be seeing a shift from one extreme to the other; some businesses are beginning to practice a new phenomenon known as green-hushing.  

Greenwashing vs green-hushing

Greenwashing occurs when businesses provide consumers or investors with misleading information about the environmental impact of their operations.2 By exploiting consumers’ genuine ethical concerns, greenwashing impact a consumer’s ability to make a sound, environmentally friendly decision – generating confusion, scepticism and increased perceived risks around ‘green products’. Due to public and regulatory backlash against greenwashing, instances of green-hushing have become more frequent. Green-hushing occurs when businesses do not publish details of their climate targets to avoid scrutiny and allegations of greenwashing.3 

In order to avoid greenwashing or green-hushing, businesses must ensure that the claims they make are accurate, unbiased, and supported by robust evidence. Legislation in both the United Kingdom and the European Union can guide businesses aiming to take the necessary precautions.  

Greenwashing and the regulatory landscape

UK Green Claims Code

In September 2021, the UK government launched the Green Claims Code (GCC). The principles of the GCC are designed to highlight the standards businesses must adhere to when making claims about their environmental impacts.  

The code enforces new guidance on misleading and socially irresponsible environmental claims. By delivering clear and explicit instructions, the code covers the entire lifecycle of a product, service, process, or brand. Beyond the legal penalties for failing to comply, neglecting these six principles risks separating a company from its customer base. As public opinion and expectations rapidly evolve, a company’s reputation is increasingly exposed to this danger. Over 12 months, for example, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found 16 advertising campaigns had either exaggerated their company’s green credentials or made unsubstantiated environmental claims.4 These breaches were widely publicised, severely impacting the businesses’ reputations.  

As trust in green claims is fragile, the Green Claims Code is a welcomed intervention that will play a vital role in levelling the playing field. Businesses that have been working to mitigate their social and environmental impact – with data to support – will see the code as a golden opportunity to gain commercial advantage and improved performance.  

EU Green Claims Directive

The EU is following a similar approach to the UK. In March 2023, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on Green Claims. The proposal on green claims aims to:5 

  • Make green claims reliable  
  • Protect consumers from greenwashing  
  • Contribute to creating a circular and green EU economy by enabling consumers to make informed purchasing decisions  
  • Help establish a level playing field regarding the environmental performance of products.   

To ensure that aims are met, the Directive will set out criteria on how companies should prove their environmental claims, requirements for claims to be verified and enhanced governance on labelling schemes. Although the Directive still needs to be approved by the European Parliament, its significance is paramount and emphasises the need for increased transparency. It is recommended that businesses keep a watching brief on the proposal as it will likely significantly impact current practices.  

How does Simply Sustainable support businesses in getting their environmental claims right?

Simply Sustainable recognises the increasing complexity of abiding by environmental rules and regulations. These are particularly difficult to navigate when faced with large and often elusive supply chains, alongside time and resource constraints.  

At Simply Sustainable, we encourage transparency in all business publications and disclosures and are adept at guiding businesses to comply with existing obligations on environmental claims. In particular, we ensure that reporting and communications are aligned with the latest environmental regulations and best practice frameworks.  

If you are interested in getting your environmental claims right, but not sure where to start, please contact us or request a call back.

Author: Lauren Hyatt, Senior Consultant

References

  1. yougov.co.uk

  2. investopedia.com

  3. ft.com

  4. independent.co.uk

  5. environment.ec.europa.eu

 

It is vital to understand where you are setting off from, before embarking on your net-zero journey.

Like all targets, net-zero targets point to where you need to get to, from your current baseline and by when. There are various ways of creating carbon reduction targets and it is good to see that we have finally moved on from picking nice-sounding round numbers that worked well together (e.g. 20% reduction by 2020 or 30% by 2030). Today, most targets are being set in-line with what the science is telling us is needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Targets in line with climate science, AKA science-based targets.

Before embarking on your net-zero journey, it is vital to consider why you are setting your target and how you want to communicate your goals. What is the scope of the target? Is it for one company, a group-wide target or country specific? This will impact the approach you need to take, particularly the first step in your net-zero journey; measuring your carbon footprint.

Step 1: Understand your current emissions

Every company’s net-zero journey will be different, but they all start in the same place; understanding the baseline carbon footprint.

To establish a resilient and comprehensive net-zero target, it is important to ensure that you include all relevant emissions categories in your baseline carbon footprint. Whilst some net-zero frameworks, such as the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), don’t require 100% of your footprint to be covered in your target, it is important to begin with a full picture of your footprint and association carbon hotspots. For the purposes of SBTi, your baseline year must be no earlier than 2019 and ideally should be your most recent year.

Our advice would be to follow best practice emissions reporting standards (e.g. Greenhouse Gas Protocol Accounting and Reporting Standard [2004:2015], ISO 14064-1, SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard [2021]). This will not only ensure that you have a solid baseline but will also mean that you can use the data collected for other reporting requirements (such as SECR, TCFD and CSRD). Following best practice standards will also assure that you are audit ready, should someone come knocking!

All seven greenhouse gasses covered under the GHG Protocol should be included in your footprint and emissions from across the entire value chain should be incorporated. This includes emissions produced by a company’s own processes (Scope 1), purchased electricity and heat (Scope 2) and those by suppliers and end-users (Scope 3). For more information on emission scopes see the diagram below and this Simple Guide to Scope 3 Emissions by Sytze Dijkstra, Simply Sustainable’s Netherlands Country Manager.

Simply Sustainable Score 3 diagram

Step 2: Hotspot analysis

Analysing the biggest areas of opportunity and risk in relation to decarbonisation.

Emissions hotspots are areas within your business operations and supply chain that have the greatest carbon impact, and as such, offer the greatest opportunity to drive reductions in your carbon footprint. Before setting carbon reduction or net-zero targets it is important to understand your hotspots and understand how these will be impacted by any areas of significant change or growth within your business.

Step 3: Internal buy-in

Getting buy-in at board level is key to the success of your net-zero strategy.

One common mistake is organisations signing-up to sustainability targets and commitments without fully understanding the implications on their business, or how to achieve their commitments. This does not mean that you need to know the exact actions you will be required to take to achieve net-zero, but it does mean that you need to understand the scale of the challenge ahead, before committing. This is not only important for gaining buy-in internally but can also carry a reputational risk. In the first five years after launching, SBTi expelled 119 companies from the initiative after failing to submit climate targets within two years of committing.

Getting buy-in at board level is key to the success of your net-zero strategy, this will not only help your board to increase its carbon literacy but will also help to drive action when it comes to the decarbonisation required to meet your net-zero commitment.

Step 4: Committing to your net-zero journey

Publicly committing to your net-zero journey will help keep momentum and drive action.

Publicly committing to set a net-zero target is not mandatory, but something that is encouraged by the SBTi. This can be done informally through your own internal and external communications, or more formally though submitting a commitment letter to SBTi. If going through the formal SBTi process, you have 24 months to submit your target after signing your commitment letter.

Next in the net-zero series

This is part 2 of a series of insights into net-zero. The next article in our series will cover how to calculate your net-zero target, how to ensure it’s in line with the science and making sure you are setting the right level of ambition, whilst ensuring your target is achievable.

If you are interested in setting net-zero targets, but not sure where to start, please contact us or request a call back.

Author: Henry Unwin, Head of Climate and Carbon Services


The Carbon Disclosure Project, informally known as CDP, has emerged as a critical global platform, holding the largest environmental database in the world. The platform primarily facilitates transparent reporting and disclosure to drive sustainable practices across industries. With approximately 20,000 organisations disclosing data on climate change, water security and deforestation issues via CDP, 2022 set a new milestone for disclosure – a 38% increase since 2021 – including listed companies worth US$60.8 trillion (half of the global market capitalisation)1.

Over time, the platform has evolved to reflect the most recent climate science and global policy developments. The 2015 Paris Agreement marked a turning point in the global response to climate change, demonstrating that ‘business as usual’ is no longer sufficient.

Objectives

CDP’s primary objective is encouraging organisations and cities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, protect water resources and preserve forests. CDP accomplishes this by offering a solid and standardised platform for organisations to voluntarily report their environmental data annually.

The structure of the CDP climate change questionnaire was redesigned in recent years in response to market needs and trends in corporate climate change reporting. Revisions included an increased emphasis on forward-looking metrics, improved alignment with other reporting frameworks and the integration of sector-specific questions.

Significance in climate change mitigation

CDP promotes transparency and accountability by pushing organisations to measure and report their carbon emissions and climate-related data. This incentivises implementing comprehensive sustainability policies, whilst providing stakeholders with crucial information for informed decision-making. Beyond corporate boundaries, CDP allows investors to assess the climate risks and opportunities associated with their portfolios, ultimately promoting a shift towards greener investments2. This harmonisation will help to optimise reporting and accelerate the generation of decision-useful information.

CDP also aligns with other large initiatives, facilitating benchmarking and amplifying the impact of sustainability strategies, addressing interconnected challenges and leveraging expertise and best practices.

CDP in 2023

Developments in 2023 reflect CDP’s strategic priorities to track organisations’ alignment with a 1.5°C world, which include enhancing disclosure, governance, engagement, emissions accounting, carbon credits and carbon pricing.

Respondents are asked whether their spending and revenue is aligned with sustainable finance taxonomies to add credibility to their commitment to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

In alignment with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Corporate Reporting on Biodiversity Guidelines, respondents are required to report on the approach to maintaining and addressing concerns associated with having activities located in or near biodiversity-sensitive areas.

Respondents are also requested to provide emissions data for subsidiaries, which includes a breakdown of their Scopes 1 and 2. As other regulatory frameworks and standards increase their scrutiny around emissions reporting, organisations are encouraged to consider subsidiary emissions, which can represent a significant gap in terms of unassessed climate risks and opportunities.

Conclusion

CDP has emerged as a vital catalyst in the fight against climate change. CDP is transforming corporate behaviour, empowering organisations to embrace sustainability practices and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

For end-to-end support with your CPD submission or other ESG ratings or disclosures, contact us or request a call back.

Author: Maria Serrano, Climate and Carbon Consultant

1 www.cdp.net
2 https://cdn.cdp.net/cdp-production

ESG and sustainability strategy

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainability strategies in businesses have changed radically in the last 5 years. With the increase in stakeholder expectations, companies are now finding their strategies are not meeting current requirements and are needing an update.

In the past, sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies were considered an addition, a bolt-on to a business’s commercial strategy. In recent years, there has been a significant acknowledgement by stakeholders, regulators and the financial sector of the direct and indirect financial impact of ESG and sustainability and issues. This has been set out in the recent European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Businesses are now looking to ensure their ESG and sustainability strategies are entirely intertwined with their commercial strategies and to maximise commercial opportunities and minimise financial and stakeholder risk. This often means using the old-fashioned approach of focus areas being people, planet, community – a box-ticking exercise – is now too simplistic. Rather companies are now developing strategies which are more sophisticated, tailored and refined to their specific needs, with a focus on the financial opportunities and alignment to the commercial strategy.

Complete the form below to download the full in-depth Insight from our sustainability consultancy Thought Leadership team.

 

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How robust is your sustainability strategy? Take our 5-minute assessment to find out.

Reporting for a new era

Simply Sustainable has been providing best practice guidance in ESG and sustainability reporting for over 12 years. We predict that 2023 will be the year that robust and credible nonfinancial reporting becomes the expected norm for global business.

In short, this is down to new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainability reporting requirements in the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States that are set to fundamentally change the nonfinancial reporting landscape.

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is a new set of EU rules that will require ESG reporting on a level never seen before, capturing a whole host of companies that previously were not subject to mandatory nonfinancial reporting requirements, including public and private non-EU companies that meet certain EU-presence thresholds.

For US issuers, the new EU rules will result in mandatory reporting on a broader set of ESG topics than those required under current and proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. It is important that the business community does not ignore the approaching tide of regulation on sustainability reporting that could entail significant financial and reputational damage if overlooked.

Complete the form below to read the full in-depth insight from our sustainability consultancy Thought Leadership team.

Simply Sustainable Reporting Insight paper>

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Simply Sustainable’s ESG and Sustainability Trend Report for 2023

At Simply Sustainable, we understand that sustainable growth is the only way to build a prosperous business that has a lasting positive impact on our environment and society.

The past few years have been pivotal for the ESG and sustainability revolution. It continues to be an area of focus for stakeholders at all levels – investors, regulators, businesses and consumers – despite the current backdrop of a turbulent economy and cost of living crisis.

In 2022, we saw a rise in important conversations and the development of global regulation aimed at improving sustainability, particularly across ESG and sustainability reporting and greenwashing.

The key sustainability trends for 2023, across various sectors, will remain focused on the credibility of claims and robust disclosure and reporting.

In addition, there will be greater attention on carbon reduction, a strategic focus on understanding what the transition to a low carbon economy means for business and its stakeholders, as well as moving away from using carbon offsets as a credible means to decarbonise.

Regulators have been exercising greater scrutiny of corporate sustainability efforts, fuelled by concerns that companies and asset managers may be using disclosures and sustainability-related labels on products and services as a marketing tool to appear more proactive on ESG issues than they truly are.

Complete the form below to read the full in-depth report from our Thought Leadership team:

Simply Sustainable’s ESG and Sustainability Trend Report for 2023>

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Simply Sustainable: Hallmarks of a Robust Sustainability Strategy

Since 2010, Simply Sustainable has developed corporate sustainability strategies for some of the biggest brands in the world.

Over the years, we have learned a thing or two about what makes a robust sustainability strategy, and we have created this guide to share our learning with you.

Whether you’re starting with a blank page, refreshing your existing approach, or are just keen to see how your organisation measures up, here you will find what we have come to understand to be the hallmarks of a truly robust sustainability strategy.

To read our in-depth analysis, please complete the form below:

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Business as usual cannot be sustained

Momentum towards sustainability has reached a tipping point. From a business context, it is now permanently on the majority of company agendas.

The path ahead will be far from ‘business as usual’.

Planning and delivering the required transformation and incorporating measures that will make a business more resilient, competitive and relevant, in a marketplace with increasingly demanding sustainable solutions. Companies that thrive will have fully embraced the need for transformative change, as a means to become ‘future-fit’.

In the document we detail why the need for transformation is now, at pace and at scale and how we at Simply Sustainable work with businesses to enable this change in all aspects of business; bringing together decades of transformational and sustainability expertise.

Business has a crucial part to play not just as economic engines, but in minimising negative environmental impact, maximising social benefits and in enabling a more sustainable world.

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Companies worldwide are experiencing mounting pressure from investors, regulators, the public and other stakeholders to take environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters seriously. In fact, the number of ESG reporting standards and regulations at a global level has almost doubled in the last 5 years.1 As there are more than 600 ESG reporting provisions currently available worldwide, with many having different interpretations of sustainability, the task of disclosing quality ESG information presents a major challenge for companies.1

The lack of a single, standardised framework for ESG reporting, coupled with low compliance to existing regulation, has unfortunately fuelled the disclosure of misleading and/or inaccurate information.2,3 Numerous international corporations, like Volkswagen and BP, have been exposed for greenwashing4 and a global review conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority (SMA) revealed that 40% of green claims made online by firms could be misleading consumers.5

While greenwashing appears to be rife and particularly problematic, companies are also starting to be exposed for misleading the public about how they treat their people. On International Women’s Day 2022, a day to celebrate the social, cultural, political and economic achievements of women, hundreds of British organisations posted to social media to show their support for the cause.6 However, on Twitter a bot was on the loose, which retweeted their posts but also shared the difference in median hourly pay between men and women at each firm.7 The Gender Pay Gap bot, which had the strapline ‘Deeds not words. Stop posting platitudes. Start fixing the problem’, highlighted the apparent hypocrisy between company posts and gender pay performance.7 In many instances, the gender pay disparity flagged by the bot was shocking, such as 68.6% difference at Ryanair.7 Companies in the public sector were not out of the firing line; Cancer Research UK, for instance, was revealed to have a 30.9% median gender pay gap in 2021.8

Consequently, and unsurprisingly, scepticism is high among investors with regards to ESG claims that companies make. Indeed, research conducted by Edelman in 2021 found that 86% of global investors believe companies exaggerate their ESG performance when disclosing results, and 72% do not think they will live up to their ESG commitments.9 Another recent survey of more than 4,600 individual investors across the UK, US, France and Germany obtained similar findings: 90% of respondents stated that they struggle to trust ESG claims made by businesses at face value.10

How can we rebuild trust and confidence among investors concerning ESG disclosures?

In response to growing calls from international investors for high quality, reliable, transparent and comparable reporting by companies worldwide on ESG issues, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation announced the formation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) at COP26 in November 2021.11 The ISSB has been tasked with developing a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosures standards, providing investors and other capital market participants with the information they need to make informed decisions.11 While a host of reporting standards already exist, there is optimism that the ISSB standards will be widely accepted and adopted – the IFRS sets financial accounting rules that companies in more than 140 countries adhere to, and because the standards build on existing ESG frameworks developed by other sustainability reporting initiatives, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).1,12 By creating a comprehensive and detailed corporate reporting standards framework, companies will be able to measure and report their ESG performance in a consistent manner.11 Ultimately, it will restore trust and confidence among investors and other key stakeholders in the ESG disclosures that companies make.

It is becoming more pertinent that companies need to transparently disclose their ESG performance to reduce the risk of reputational damage. Adherence to globally accepted standards, such as the GRI and SASB, can help companies to understand and effectively report their ESG performance; the imminent release of ISSB standards is anticipated to significantly ESG reporting worldwide.

At Simply Sustainable, we support an array of international organisations with their sustainability reporting, employing best-practice global standards (e.g., GRI) to ensure their disclosures meet the needs of key stakeholders. If you are looking for support with your sustainability reporting, please contact us using the details below.

1 EY. Future of sustainability reporting standards.

2 City AM. Better regulations, not more, are the answer to greenwashing controversies.

3 Carbon Market Watch. EU works to beef up regulations on green claims.

4 Earth Org. 10 companies and corporations called out for greenwashing.

5 UK Government. Global sweep finds 40% of firms’ green claims could be misleading.

6 Forbes. Twitter bot trolls organisations for hypocrisy on International Women’s Day.

7 Personnel Today. International Women’s Day.

8 Civil Society News. Cancer Research UK ‘disappointed’ by widening gender pay gap.

9 Edelman. 2021 trust barometer special report: institutional investors.

10 Edie. Survey.

11 IFRS. ISSB

12 The Globe and Mail. Is a reporting standard finally on the horizon 

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