Two of the leading sustainability-themed investment and business organizations, The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), announced today a new collaboration aimed at bringing together investors and businesses to enhance their sustainability efforts and impact.
PRI and WBCSD announced that they will work together to facilitate direct conversations between investors and business about what decision-useful sustainability-related information is, and how and where that information can be used. Through this enhanced communication, the organizations hope to promote the allocation of more capital and other support towards sustainable business through improved supply and use of sustainability-related information.
The organizations stated that they expect the collaboration to enable the development of how sustainability information is used in investor-corporate relationships, how businesses and investors can align incentives, evaluation, valuation and decision-making with sustainability considerations related to resilience, impact and outcomes, and to support the institutional arrangements that will deliver the sustainability information needed by investors and corporates. The collaboration will also serve to complement existing regulatory and standard setter work towards a globally harmonized system for ESG disclosures by focusing upon investor needs, and strategic corporate communications.
Fiona Reynolds, CEO of PRI, said:
“Our signatories continue to tell us that being able to access comparable and meaningful sustainability data is a roadblock to progress when it comes to responsible investment. Working with WBCSD will enable PRI to enhance several channels over which investors have influence – capital allocation and investors’ engagement with companies. By collaborating we can further develop the tools and data needed for future decision-making and create the incentives and collective action at a scale that can significantly influence the capital costs of companies.”
Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD, said:
“We are working to redesign corporate and investor engagement and our organizations represent a powerful combination of those voices. We see this work as integral for aligning the financial system with the transformations needed to address the major social and environmental issues – like climate change and inequality.”
According to PRI and WBCSD, corporate and investor dialogue is an underserved area, and the recent disruption in financial and business markets has revealed structural and relational challenges in the current market system. The newly announced partnership can bring much needed scale and market-based consensus to help create solutions that meets market demand and stakeholder concerns.