Recent sustainability and integrated reporting developments

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04 Dec 2018

A summary of recent developments at CDSB/CDP, CDP, PRI/ICGN, UNEP FI, GRI, and the University of Oxford.

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) have jointly conducted a review of corporate disclosure of climate change and environmental information across Europe. Their report First Steps: Corporate climate & environmental disclosure under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive provides evidence of reporting practices of 80 companies, indicates what information companies are currently disclosing and whether companies are implementing the recommendations of the G20 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The press release on the CDSB website offers a short summary and access to the full report.

CDP has published a call by European investors urging EU policymakers to upgrade corporate reporting rules. The signatory investors call on EU policymakers to: (i) align corporate reporting with the recommendations of the TCFD to mitigate financial risk; (ii) create a level playing field across the EU by implementing consistent corporate reporting requirements like those of financial reporting; (iii) standardise sector-specific reporting metrics that increase comparability and consistency and enable tracking progress against public policy targets and clearly defined time horizons; and (iv) address the shortcomings of the European corporate reporting legislative framework by stressing policy coherence between investor duties and corporate reporting. Please click to access the statement here.

Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) and the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) have launched a discussion paper on corporate ESG reporting arguing that despite growing consensus that the integration of relevant ESG factors into company value creation models and corporate reporting is important, listed companies and organisations providing reporting standards have yet to coalesce on an approach to the treatment and inclusion of ESG factors in company disclosure and reporting. The press release on the PRI website offers a short summary and access to the full discussion paper.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has announced a partnership with 16 of the world’s largest insurers to develop a new generation of risk assessment tools designed to enable the insurance industry to better understand the impacts of climate change on their business. The pilot group will develop analytical tools that they will use to pioneer insurance industry climate risk disclosures that are in line with the recommendations of the TCFD. Please click for more information on the UNEP FI website.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announces that its free digital reporting tool has been upgraded to make navigation easier and keeping progress more visual. Please click for more information on the GRI website.

GRI also announces that the GRI Standards are now also available in Arabic. More information can be found here.

The Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, offers a debate on "Should FASB and IASB be responsible for setting standards for nonfinancial information?" at the Oxford Union on 11 December 2018. A Green Paper focussing on the arguments for and against the FASB and the IASB setting standards for nonfinancial information has been released in preparation for the debate and can be downloaded here.

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