Newsflash – Progress towards global ESG reporting standards

September 2020

The International Business Council (IBC) of the World Economic Forum (WEF) has published its report ‘Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation’ that includes a set of core metrics enabling companies to measure sustainable value creation against a set of global ESG reporting standards.

The report follows the publication of a set of provisional metrics and disclosures at the IBC’s Winter Meeting early in 2020 in Davos. Following a period of consultation, which saw more than 200 companies, investors and other key stakeholders provide feedback, a refined set of indicators were presented to the IBC’s Summer Meeting in August 2020.

The metrics are organised under four pillars aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting frameworks: Principles of Governance, Planet, People and Prosperity. They are mainly drawn from existing standards and disclosures, with the aim of amplifying the rigorous work already done by standard-setters, rather than reinventing the wheel. The metrics have been selected for their universality across industries and business models, but the intention is not to replace relevant sector-specific and company-specific ESG reporting standards. Companies are encouraged to report against as many of the metrics they judge material and appropriate.

Leading companies have shown their readiness to report common metrics on wider areas of value creation. An explicit aim of the project is to act as a framework for business action towards a global system of ESG standards, to create greater momentum towards global ESG reporting standards.

This momentum was further reinforced last week following a statement from the five leading international sustainability standard setters and frameworks (CDP, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) setting out a vision and intent to work together towards a comprehensive corporate reporting system.

Read the full WEF report.

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