Council Announces Support of Convergence Toward Common Metrics and Standards Around ESG and SDG-Aligned Investments
Members of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican today released a statement supporting the movement toward a widely-accepted disclosure standard for ESG and SDG-aligned investments. Convergence toward common metrics and standards and consistency by which companies measure and report to investors will provide needed clarity about the long-term value they create.
Time is of the essence for industry to address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order for capitalism to deliver dynamic and equitable global growth. As members of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, we support the movement toward increased transparency and disclosure around ESG and SDG-aligned business models and investments.
We represent a set of global companies and organizations committed to principles that guide our actions to create a more trusted, sustainable, equitable, and inclusive capitalism. We recognize that we will not have the impact we aspire to without focusing on long-term value creation for all our stakeholders including clients, employees, partners, shareholders, and society in a way that is sustainable for and respects people and our planet.
To display our progress in contributing to an inclusive capitalism, we recognize that companies and organizations need to measure the positive impact that they are having on their stakeholders. We believe in the power of example, and the catalytic effect a market-led movement can have. Additionally, measurement and disclosure that is comparable, consistent and material accelerates the sustainable investment necessary to drive needed structural changes.
We are encouraged by the growing convergence of existing global reporting frameworks among the standards setters and believe industry, through its own disclosure and active voice, can have a positive effect. We note the efforts of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council’s Stakeholder Capitalism Common Metrics (WEF/IBC) and the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We note the progress of the Impact Management Project and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on Impact Measurement, the “Big Five” standard setters such as the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) coming together, and the industry-led IBC work to commit to common disclosures. We also note the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation’s consideration of establishing a Sustainability Standards Board and parallel proposals at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to form an ESG taskforce, as well as the work of the Global Investors for a Sustainable Development Alliance to provide sector-specific metrics for SDG-aligned business models and investments.
We believe that moving toward standardized ESG reporting that incorporates material issues will create greater transparency around companies’ commitments to a more inclusive and sustainable form of capitalism and will allow all stakeholders to trust that companies’ commitments are genuine and impactful. We support actions individually and collectively to:
- Encourage the continued convergence of standards and reporting, where appropriate, toward a single, universal standard by committing to the disclosures that are relevant and material to our business and our stakeholders.
- Encourage companies of all industries and sizes, and particularly large companies, to disclose ESG metrics in line with currently accepted approaches such as WEF/IBC, TCFD, SASB and GRI, with the scale of disclosure actions set to accelerate convergence toward a global standard.
- Engage in ongoing dialogues such as the IFRS and SEC consultation processes to bring about global standards.
Ultimately, it will take the actions and disclosure of companies and organizations of all industries and sizes to accelerate progress toward the inclusive capitalism for which the Council strives. We invite all companies to disclose and be more accountable to how their actions affect and contribute to long-term value for all stakeholders. Together, we can build an economic system for all people and a more sustainable future.
Signatories (updated Feb. 3, 2021):
Ajay Banga, Executive Chairman, Mastercard
Oliver Bäte, Chairman of the Board of Management, Allianz SE
Marc Benioff, Chair, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-founder, Salesforce
Edward Breen, Executive Chairman, Dupont
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
Mark Carney, COP26 Financial Advisor to the Prime Minister, and United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance
Brunello Cucinelli, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, Brunello Cucinelli S.p.A.
Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, EY
Roger Ferguson, President and Chief Executive Officer, TIAA
Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Founder and Managing Partner, Inclusive Capital Partners
Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Estée Lauder Companies
Marcie Frost, Chief Executive Officer, CalPERS
Angel Gurria, Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Alfred Kelly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Visa Inc.
William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies
Fiona Ma, Treasurer, State of California
Hiro Mizuno, Member of the Board, Principles for Responsible Investment
Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America
Ronald P. O’Hanley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, State Street Corporation
Rajiv Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
Tidjane Thiam, Board Member, Kering Group
Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
Mark Weinberger, Former Chair and CEO of EY, and Board member of J&J, MetLife and Saudi Aramco