Category Archives: Articles

Today, public trust in institutions is at an all-time low. Stakeholders expect more responsible management than ever from corporations, and investors are increasingly scrutinizing management practices with the help of a growing set of data platforms for evaluating material environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.
Businesses are often surprised to discover how mainstream and specific the ESG assessment of their companies is becoming—and just how much capital is being influenced by these considerations. To stay ahead of this trend, companies, especially S&P 500 members and other prominent corporations, should examine the ESG/sustainability expectations of their top shareholders and the ways in which key ratings organizations are assessing them. 
Below we chart the dramatic rise of ESG factors in global investment decision-making in recent years, and offer 4 steps every company should take. The infographic is also available for high-resolution download as a PDF (2MB).

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As the private sector increasingly takes on greater leadership in helping to create a more sustainable world—as is taking place through the implementation of the recent Paris climate negotiations and the UN Global Goals for sustainable development, for example—more companies are disclosing on sustainability performance. But as more firms embrace sustainability reporting, and new developments in regulations and reporting practices emerge, sustainability reporting frameworks must continue to evolve.

In an effort to enhance the clarity and uptake of sustainability reporting worldwide, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) recently released its final set of Sustainability Reporting Standards (Standards) in November 2016, marking the next phase of GRI reporting. As the most commonly used framework for sustainability disclosures, this is a change any company reporting or considering doing so will want to make note of.

What are Standards?

The GRI is in the midst of restructuring its reporting framework from iterative guideline releases (as with… More >

For this installment of Answered, we asked Chris Fowle, VP Investor Initiatives CDP North America, about the role of carbon disclosure in investor research and decision-making in the era of the historic COP21 climate agreement.

Fowle’s answers illustrate a growing interest among investors in understanding and valuing portfolio exposure to emissions-related risk. He indicates more companies are also stepping up to set science-based emission reduction targets.

Learn more about CDP from our other resources in this series:

Framework: Who are the investors represented by the CDP and who use its data? What should companies understand about them?

Chris Fowle: More than 800 investors, representing over $100 trillion in combined assets are signatories to CDP’s annual information request on climate change. This is the largest collaboration of investors in history on any single issue, and provides the authority behind CDP’s questionnaires. This authority has enabled CDP to build… More >