Top Stories

September 24, 2018


SASB and GRI step up project to align reporting standards

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) last week that they will move forward soon with a Bloomberg-funded effort to bring their standards in line with each other wherever possible. The joint effort is aimed at simplifying reporting standards to align with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), a global group established by the Financial Standards Board after the G20 summit in 2015. The TCFD’s recommendations, released in June 2017, offer a disclosure framework built around getting financial markets participants the information they need about how climate-related issues may affect their companies or investments. SASB and GRI were built using different approaches, but in areas where they overlap, a two-year Bloomberg grant will help the organizations harmonize their standards. (GreenBiz)


Clean energy technologies could save UK industry £540 million on bills

The UK’s energy-intensive industrial and manufacturing sectors could save at least £540m on their energy bills by adopting clean technologies such as solar arrays and battery storage systems, according to a new report by British Gas owner Centrica. The report analyses a range of major manufacturing and production activities – including steel mining, chemicals, car manufacturing, machinery, and food and drink production – which together account for around a quarter of the UK’s entire electricity demand. The research findings suggest significant cost and carbon savings could be achieved by adopting distributed energy technology such as new heating and lighting, solar, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and battery storage systems. Overall, the analysis estimates that if just half of businesses in the UK’s industrial sectors installed energy technology improvements, it could boost UK productivity and growth by as much as £13.9 billion gross value added. (BusinessGreen)

Responsible Investment / SDGs

Report launch: Financing Our Future

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) and Aviva Investors have today launched a report that sets out actions to deliver a global sustainable financial system, with recommendations for all parts of the investment chain. The report explores opportunities to scale up actions capable of supporting achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and towards achieving the Paris Agreement. The recommendations include building a compelling evidence base and motivating people to act, developing consistent terminology, allocating funds to sustainable outcomes, adopting reporting standards, and pricing externalities. The report also identifies current actions already taken by actors across the financial system and the barriers to progressing further. “Business can be the greatest force for good on the planet… I hope that by providing a practical guide for each part of the financial system, this document can act as a catalyst for change.” Mark Wilson, Group CEO of Aviva Plc said. (AccountingforSustainability)

Responsible Investment / Human Rights

UK University publishes report into historical slavery, others urged to follow

Sir Geoff Palmer, Scotland’s first black professor, has welcomed a ground breaking report into how Glasgow University benefited from the proceeds of slavery. He said it posed “uncomfortable questions” for British society as a whole and called on institutions that had profited from the slave trade to make amends. The report, published last week by Glasgow University, is based on more than two years of research and reveals that the institution benefited directly from the slave trade in Africa and the Caribbean in the 18th and 19th centuries to the tune of almost £200 million in today’s money. The university has now launched a wide-ranging and ambitious “reparative justice programme,” which includes creation of a centre for the study of slavery and a memorial or tribute in the name of the enslaved. It is also working to establish ties with the University of the West Indies. (Guardian)


The Walmart Foundation announces new round of grants available for Canadian organizations focused on reducing food waste

The Walmart Foundation has announced that it is making $1.5 million USD ($1.89 million CAD) available to fund proposals from eligible non-profit organizations working to reduce food waste in Canada. The Walmart Foundation is seeking proposals from qualified organizations that have experience in formulating, proposing, and implementing food waste reduction efforts. Requests between $300,000 and $1,000,000 (USD) will be considered. This announcement is part of the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to award $15 million USD ($19 million CAD) to organizations that help reduce food waste and strengthen food banks in Canada. “Today’s announcement will build upon our efforts to help accelerate momentum to reduce and prevent food waste and alleviate hunger in Canada by investing in infrastructure to move excess perishable food from facilities and farms to the charitable meal system, funding innovative initiatives and advancing successful, existing programs,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation. (CSRwire)

External Event

Front Group’s Business & Climate Summit: Managing Climate Risks & Opportunities

1st October| London

 Given the rise of climate-related soft and hard law – the TCFD, EU NFD – the summit helps to understand their impacts on business and to develop an appropriate strategy, focusing on how to;

  • Map climate risk to identify high-risk areas and develop an appropriate action plan
  • Navigate the complexity of various climate-related disclosure standards
  • Move beyond reporting to tie climate in the strategy and commercial goals

See full details and download our brochure here.

Confirmed speakers include Heads and Directors of Standard Chartered Bank, BT, Skanska, Multiplex, Mott Macdonald, EBRD and more.

Please note you can benefit from a 10% saving if you reserve your ticket here and quote FG10.


Image source: The Undercroft by Tom Parnell on Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.