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Dr.KiaraSimpson,United States,Researcher
Published Date:05-07-2017
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Translating ESG into sustainable business value Key insights for companies and investors Report from an international workshop series of the WBCSD and UNEP FI March 2010 Secretariat 4, chemin de Conches, CH-1231 Conches-Geneva, Switzerland Tel: +41 (0)22 839 31 00, WBCSD North America Office 1744 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 United States Tel.: +1 2024207745, washingtonwbcsd.org5 1 Background In the wake of the global financial crisis, business leaders and financial practitioners have been forced to rethink the fundamentals of mainstream asset pricing and business models. The crisis exposed the vulnerability of global capital markets and national economies to systemic shocks and the devastating effect these have on economic growth and stability. The exposure of markets to shocks has brought to light the importance of businesses and financial institutions incorporating systemic environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into fundamental financial analysis and business planning. The impact of climate change on the economic performance of businesses and nations is one such example and has been singled out by Sir Nicholas Stern as the single greatest market failure in human history. This has forced businesses and investors to rethink the basis for sustainable economic performance into the future. The member institutions of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) believe that a company’s management of ESG factors, as well as a company’s leadership on sustainable development, are at the core of business today and therefore need to be considered by the capital markets. Both organisations believe that ESG factors can be financially material and can enhance long-term, sustainable company value. In 2008, the WBCSD and UNEP FI launched a series of workshops that provided a platform for institutional investors and companies to discuss how to facilitate the integration of ESG factors into key processes of the capital markets. A series of workshops were held in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa for WBCSD and UNEP FI member companies, institutions, partners and stakeholders to collectively address process and communication barriers to assessing the ESG and sustainability aspects of company performance evaluation, and to chart a course for change. The workshops involved a large number of institutional investors, principally asset managers, multinational corporations from a cross-section of industries, and key 1 stakeholders engaged on this issue. At each workshop, one-on-one company- investor dialogues were used to formulate a common understanding of the financial materiality of ESG factors and forward-looking ESG and sustainability considerations in business value and investment decisions. This document provides a summary of key findings from the 2008 WBCSD-UNEP FI workshops. The company-investor dialogues confirmed previous assumptions that several communication gaps are at the heart of the issue of valuing ESG factors and sustainability. It also provides important insights for company managers and investors on how their business and investment philosophy and practices going forward can better address the why, what and how of communicating corporate ESG performance to the capital markets. It is hoped that this document will be used by business leaders and investors as a tool to continue discussing the needed evolution towards more holistic and realistic capital market valuation processes. It relies on the largest and most comprehensive series of global workshops held to date bringing together companies and investors around the issue of integrating ESG factors and sustainability into corporate and investment decision-making. 1 For the full list of participants, please see Appendix 16 Commonly used terms Companies Stock-listed companies that produce and sell goods and services Institutional investors (‘investors’) Asset managers; asset owners (e.g., pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, mutual funds, foundations) 1 ESG The term that has emerged globally to describe the environmental, social and corporate governance issues that investors are considering in the context of corporate behaviour. No definitive list of ESG issues exists, but they typically display one or more of the following characteristics: ■ Issues that have traditionally been considered non-financial or not material ■ A medium or long-term horizon ■ Qualitative objects that are readily quantifiable in monetary terms ■ Externalities (costs borne by other firms or by society at large) not well captured by market mechanisms ■ A changing regulatory or policy framework ■ Patterns arising throughout a company’s supply chain (and therefore susceptible to unknown risks) ■ A public-concern focus 2 ESG integration The active investment management processes that include an analysis of environmental, social and corporate governance risks and opportunities 3 Sustainable development Development that ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ 4 Sustainability & business ‘...leading global companies of the future will be those that provide goods and services and reach new customers in ways that address the world’s major challenges – including poverty, climate change, resource depletion, globalization and demographic shifts’ 1 Demystifying Responsible Investment Performance – A review of key academic and broker research on ESG factors, UNEP FI Asset Management Working Group and Mercer, 2007 2 See note 1 3 Our Common Future, The Brundtland Commission, 1987 4 WBCSD, 20067 2 Takeaways for companies and investors The WBCSD-UNEP FI workshops held globally in 2008, which informed this document, aimed to advance the debate by providing a platform for more companies and investors to meet directly to address the evolution of corporate valuation in the context of ESG and sustainability. The findings of this study represent developed and emerging market perspectives spanning six major investment centres and engaging over 150 multinational, regional and local companies and investors. During the workshops, company managers and asset managers met to understand each other’s point of view and to reach agreement on how to advance progress on valuing ESG factors and sustainability in investment decision-making. The following are high-level learnings that stemmed from six global dialogues. The ESG-financial materiality nexus is evolving The companies and financial institutions that participated in the workshops argue that ESG factors can have long-term consequences on a company’s financial performance, either for better or for worse. They accept that ESG factors are now at the core of business. However, the depth and breadth of ESG factors are not fully valued by investors and company management. Companies believe that mainstream asset managers currently under or overvalue the long-term intrinsic value of companies because they fail to routinely integrate ESG factors into their investment analysis and decision-making. Companies and investors do not agree on which ESG factors are material The workshops revealed that there are many misconceptions between companies and investors on ESG factors and their financial materiality. Companies found that they have unique expertise on how and why ESG factors are material and core to their business—they understand their business best. Meanwhile, asset managers have not gained access to this information through current ESG questionnaires and desk research, and tend to focus on reputational issues. Many asset managers generally find the information contained in sustainability reports difficult to use for the purposes of valuing a company. There is widespread acknowledgement among companies that ESG factors can have a material impact on their intrinsic value, and that ESG factors should have a corresponding impact on their market capitalisation. However, many investors continue to think that ESG is narrowly concerned with reputation and brand issues, or only corporate governance matters. The expertise among mainstream asset managers and corporate investor relations departments about the systemic link between ESG factors and financial performance needs to be enhanced. Furthermore, many mainstream asset managers confuse the ESG integration investment approach with traditional negatively screened ethical investment approaches when they are fundamentally different. ESG integration is an economic assessment and valuation tool to improve investment analysis and decision-making—an approach based on a risk- return framework instead of ethical criteria that typically exclude certain companies or sectors.8 Communication needs to be in relative and comparable language Where companies and investors are able to agree on a material ESG factor, the management of that factor is often not explained by companies in comparable terms; for example, an explanation of why an issue is more material now than before or how one company manages ESG factors better than its competitors. Financial language is a comparative language. ESG research needs to focus on financially material issues The need for change is being driven by company frustrations that ESG questionnaires from investors, ratings agencies, indices and direct questions to companies at reporting times are not asking financially material questions, resulting in missed opportunities. The increasing volume of questionnaires in terms of both detail and frequency of requests is causing a major drain on corporate resources that might be used more effectively in direct dialogue with those seeking the assessments. ESG remains outside the mainstream between company managers and asset managers The depth and breadth of ESG factors are currently not fully integrated into financial valuation models because there is little direct communication between company sustainability managers and asset managers regarding ESG factors, and they do not speak the same language. The gaps in ESG communication run even deeper within individual companies and investment firms. Company sustainability managers and investor relations managers also do not speak the same language and there is little incentive to bridge the gap. Company sustainability managers are crucial to bridging knowledge and expertise on the materiality of ESG factors with investor relations managers and senior management executives on the one hand, and investors on the other hand. Similarly, asset managers that systematically integrate ESG risks and opportunities into the investment process (‘ESG-inclusive asset managers’) and mainstream asset managers often have the same language barrier. ESG gaps between company managers and asset managers Companies Institutional investors CEO /CFO Asset owners Investor relations Mainstream managers asset managers Sustainability ESG-inclusive managers asset managers Regular communication takes place but needs to systematically integrate material ESG factors. Insuffi cient communication; regular communication needs to be established.9 3 Key insights for companies We are learning that the technological and societal changes needed to address current global challenges such as climate change, global population growth, and increasing resource constraints are more urgent than we once thought, and they will require large sums of capital sooner than we thought. There is an important link between the global capital markets and enabling sustainable change. One way to fund the change would be to make the capital markets more effective and efficient in integrating ESG factors into the valuation of companies. Progress towards sustainable development must involve the capital markets. For business to wholeheartedly take on the role as provider of goods and services that address global challenges, capital markets, particularly capital market mechanisms (such as business valuations) and incentives, need to be updated and aligned to capture long-term company value and promote a more sustainable path of development. 3.1 What investors want Asset managers who participated in the workshops provided insights on what they need from companies to integrate ESG factors and sustainability into investment decision- making. What investors want ‘Companies need to provide more data on how ‘Companies should provide ESG factors infl uence their a clear link between ESG operations and commercial factors and its fi nancial ‘Companies should show performance.’ materiality in annual reports.’ ESG as a means to reduce Workshop 3: Workshop 1: volatility.’ New York London Workshop 5: Vienna ‘Investor-friendly language ‘Companies need to ‘Corporate measurement, is a comparative language. report more on social monitoring and reporting ESG is only relevant inequities in the workforce, of environmental issues in if it can be compared and inequities and lack of Asia are weak. ESG factors to a competitor, past transparency in employee that have been included performance, or new remunerations. These in codes of conduct by market development.’ issues are acutely material multinationals are reported Workshop 2: in South Africa.’ more widely (where Asian Montreux Workshop 6: companies are linked Johannesburg to MNC supply chains). There is an imbalance in requirements for MNCs and SMEs in Asia.’ Workshop 4: Kuala Lumpur10 Key considerations for companies ESG factors need to be communicated comparatively and consistently; lack of standardisation must be addressed Leadership needed Sustainability manager – to break down silos asset manager dialogues between investor could provide a model relations and for CEO – asset owner sustainability functions dialogues to accelerate progress Demonstration of the fi nancial materiality of ESG factors is crucial 3.2 What companies can do The workshops revealed several areas where companies can draw ‘quick wins’ in terms of the orientation of corporate communications with the investment community on the financial materiality of ESG factors and sustainability. An immediate roadmap for companies could follow three critical steps: Step 1 Draw clear links between ESG factors, sustainability, financial performance and strategy Disclosure and communication from companies to the investment community currently lack clear links between ESG, sustainability and financial performance, and overall, how this links to strategy. This is a relatively new area for many companies. Expertise among investors and investor relations managers alike is still evolving and needs to be accelerated. The workshops found that it is becoming more common for investor communications to focus on one element—E, S or G—predominantly on climate change or governance issues; or for companies to bundle ESG factors in the context of reputation and brand issues. However, it is less common for corporate managers to communicate a holistic view of ESG factors and sustainability in the context of their financial materiality. Corporate sustainability managers can provide valuable expertise on the materiality of ESG factors to support the corporate communication processes involving the investment community. The risk of doing nothing could result in long-term value destruction for companies that do not manage material ESG factors responsibly and are consequently unable to reap the rewards of new market opportunities that directly address global sustainability issues. ESG is an invisible issue for corporate management at earnings time Professor Baruch Lev of New York University tracked the language used in quarterly reporting by US companies via public conference calls from (2002- 2007). Lev found that less than 1% of total words in quarterly earnings calls included sustainable development language vs. 80% related to earnings, income, etc. Only 2-3% of all calls mentioned any sustainable development words with only a slight increase in sustainability language from 2002-2007 (0.3%). Lev’s analysis concludes that shares of intangibles-intensive companies are systematically over and undervalued causing excessive cost of capital and suboptimal investment and growth.11 Step 2 Standardise the disclosure of quantitative ESG data Building ESG expertise at management level and among investors requires clear and transparent investment language. Investors want ESG data to be: ■ Material – where the relationship to financial performance is clear ■ Standardised and comparable – across companies and sectors, and through time Some of the ESG data relevant and material to corporate performance is quantitative Investor quote, Kuala and measurable. Company initiatives to develop principles or agreements on what Lumpur: ESG data is material and to disclose such data would be valued (i.e. WBCSD-WRI ‘Investors are not 2 GHG protocol ). Companies uniquely understand the complexities and processes for receiving enough managing these issues. By coming to a company-led agreement on what ESG data is information to important, companies can also be better prepared for potential regulations in these areas. make sustainability decisions; for Asset managers in all six workshops specified that sector-specific key performance example, on indicators listing what quantitative ESG data is financially material to companies environmental operating in a particular sector would be an essential output to assist them in investment decision-making. This data must then be disclosed at fixed frequency. issues in Southeast Asia. Different Disclosure must include both data on past performance and forward-looking sectors should come assessments. Such assessments can include forecasts on how ESG factors are projected together to address to affect cash flows over a period of time. Investors say that insufficient forecasts in corporate disclosure are an impediment to pricing the long-term implications of ESG issues relevant to factors. their industry (e.g. plantation, IT, construction).’ Step 3 Formalise a communication process for qualitative ESG data The difficulty with qualitative information is that it is not readily reducible for mathematical models and investor spreadsheets—it is not ‘user-friendly’ for asset managers. However, a review of the brand valuation journey demonstrates that qualitative data can be measured and valued. The workshops found that conversations are the real tool in allowing investors to better understand the intrinsic and long-term value of a company’s business in a way that databases cannot. Currently, investor-company conversations are usually limited to asset managers (and other investment service providers) and company investor relations managers who primarily focus on traditional factors such as earnings and growth prospects and put too much emphasis on short-term gains without giving appropriate consideration to material ESG risks and opportunities associated with long-term value creation, resilience and sustainable development. This document recommends that: ■ Companies and investors build knowledge and expertise on how qualitative ESG factors can enhance long-term and sustainable company value (e.g. how a company responds to issues, policies, practices and outcomes) ■ In-depth one-on-one investor-company dialogues be integrated as an effective means to communicate qualitative ESG factors to investors and to increase the flow of both qualitative and quantitative ESG data 2 The Greenhouse Gas Protocol was developed through a partnership between the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in collaboration with businesses, governments and environmental groups. It is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify and manage greenhouse gas emissions. 12 3.3 Getting started. Putting ESG performance into investor- friendly language The type of ESG factors relevant for valuing companies will differ across industry sectors and geographies. In order to get started and as an initial discussion piece, a sample of key performance indicators (KPIs) for quantitative ESG disclosure and qualitative considerations are shown in Annex A. This is followed by examples of sector-specific KPIs—these are the types of KPIs investors want companies to come together and agree upon sector by sector. Finally, concrete individual company examples and practical sector-specific guidelines, overviews and tools show how ESG factors have been and can be applied to corporate reporting and engagement with investors. These are only intended as guidelines and are meant to show how ESG factors can be financially material to business performance, and to underscore the importance of comparative, market competitive data. Ultimately, they need to be decided on by companies within sectors, and discussed with investors. 13 4 Key insights for investors In recent years, conviction has grown around the belief that increased and systematic consideration of ESG factors by investors can enhance long-term company value and lead to superior risk-adjusted returns, create more responsible and sustainable capital markets, and contribute to the sustainable development of societies. 4.1 What investors need to know Companies that participated in the workshops provided insights on questions capital market actors and asset managers might ask companies about financially material ESG factors and sustainability. What investors need to know ‘Communicate to markets, ‘Investors should ask clients and especially about ESG factors in risk ‘Improve questionnaires to investee companies the management and market be more specifi c with focus type of ESG factors needed opportunities, as well as on material ESG factors.’ for mainstream investment forward-looking, longer- Workshop 3: New analysis.’ term assessments that York Workshop 1: London show enhanced fair value.’ Workshop 5: Vienna ‘There are strong ‘Investors globally need to ‘New tools are needed perceptions and settle on a common view to assist asset managers misconceptions in the on what new information (e.g., expert advisors, investment community associated with material standardisation of material about what ESG factors are ESG factors needs to be ESG factors, and online material to a company or measured, standardised tools such as ‘open SRI or sector.’ and disclosed.’ PRI’, SRI and PRI ratings Workshop 2: Workshop 6: online).’ Montreux Johannesburg Workshop 4: Kuala Lumpur14 Key considerations for investors Investors should develop the tools and processes needed for more consistent Investors can fi nd and systematic integration of ESG hidden value in new factors into company valuation market opportunities Key ESG factors with companies that are overlooked report forward-looking by investors and performance and put therefore under or the management of ESG overvalued by the factors and sustainability market at the core of their ESG factors will continue to have business growing material impacts on brand and reputation 4.2 What investors can do The workshops revealed several areas where asset managers can draw ‘quick wins’ in terms of integrating financially material ESG factors into investment decision-making. An immediate roadmap for investors could follow three critical steps: Step 1 Build expertise on the fundamentals of ESG valuation The first step for investors is to build expertise and knowledge on how ESG factors impact intrinsic company value. Some helpful starting places for building expertise are: ■ Talking with companies themselves ■ Approaching specialist investment research houses and brokers ■ Direction from international initiatives (e.g. UNEP FI, WBCSD, Principles for 3 Responsible Investment ) Companies strongly believe that ESG factors can drive long-term and sustainable value creation in their businesses. However, it is important to bear in mind that each company needs to be valued differently according to three variables: ■ The regional geography of the company’s operations ■ The company’s sector ■ The particular ESG factors (the environment, social forces or corporate governance) to which the company is most exposed Step 2 Use both quantitative and qualitative data in investment analysis Standard financial models in mainstream investment houses are almost entirely dependent on quantitative data inputs. However, these quantitative inputs often require qualitative judgements. For example, the Discounted Cash Flow valuation method can be seen as a funnel through which today’s numbers are moulded with 3 The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is an investor initiative in partnership with UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact. Launched in 2006 by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and endorsed by current UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, the Principles were established as a framework to help investors achieve better long- term investment returns and sustainable markets through better analysis of environmental, social and governance issues in the investment process and the exercise of responsible ownership practices. As of December 2009, over 650 signatories worldwide from the institutional investment community (e.g., pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, asset managers) representing approximately USD 19 trillion in assets under management have committed to implement the Principles. 15 Investor quote, tomorrow’s expectations to generate an output. The analyst must decide what London: assumptions to use to make the model forecast the best representation of the company’s performance in the future. ‘Investment tools such as company These judgement calls are where ESG factors play a crucial role for particular valuation models companies according to country, industry and product line. A significant proportion of the value captured by ESG factors is through qualitative data. There is sizeable need to be further opportunity for asset managers to expand their valuation models to build a bridge developed to be between qualitative ESG factors and measurements of financial performance. able to adequately capture ESG data.’ Companies are uniquely qualified on how and why ESG factors are core to their business – they understand their business best. For quantitative data, this document advises companies to develop principles or agreements on a common set of ESG factors, criteria and indicators that are financially material by sector and by region, where necessary. Investors should actively support and monitor this process so that data is standardised and comparable across companies within a given sector, as well as through time. While an ESG framework will help break down key considerations on a company’s management of its operations, additional qualitative information is also required to assess the longer-term outlook and resilience of a company’s business model. Such information might include: ■ Judgement calls on where the market is heading ■ Market entry strategies ■ Strategies for capital growth ■ Ideas for new product development ■ Local manifestation of ESG and macro sustainability issues (e.g., climate change, water scarcity, social friction, overexploitation of natural resources) This document advises investors to integrate qualitative information more formally into their investment analysis procedures and buy/sell strategies. Some of the world’s most successful investment strategies are founded precisely on capturing qualitative information in valuation. This requires skills that can be developed with expertise, knowledge and business acumen rather than sophisticated modelling. Examples of qualitative investment approaches ■ Benjamin Graham and W arren Buffet’s ‘value investing’ Æ This strategy requires making an assumption about the discount rate of future cash flow in order to derive a firm’s intrinsic value. This involves judgement of the underlying value of the business and its market position over the long-term. ■ George Soros’ theory of ‘reflexivity’ Æ Soros’ investment principles involve a judgement of how investors overreact to good and bad news. His philosophy is therefore fundamentally premised on a qualitative judgement about human behaviour. ■ Sir Ronald Cohen, leading venture capitalist Æ ‘Venture capital is an investment in the management of a firm.’ 16 Step 3 Formalise a process for gathering qualitative ESG data The difficulty with qualitative information is that it is not ‘user-friendly’ for mathematical models and investor spreadsheets. Based on insights from company-investor dialogues, this document recommends two approaches as a starting point to increase the flow of both qualitative and quantitative ESG data: ■ Standardised inputs for quantitative ESG data ■ A formalised process for regular meetings and communications with companies to discuss the value and application of qualitative ESG data The impetus for the first strategy must come from companies with the support of investors (see Step 2 above). Investor quote, Vienna: The impetus for the second strategy must come from investors with the support of ‘I found that the companies. The current investor method of using questionnaires has been criticised by conversation was companies as missing the mark. the real tool. It’s Two processes that investors at the workshops found useful for investment analysis hard to translate were: into data what the ■ Frequent company-investor conversations to discuss the top ESG factors conversation was Conversations are the real tool in allowing investors to understand the value of a about, but having company’s business in a way that databases cannot. Currently, investor-company had it I would conversations are usually limited to asset managers (and other investment service value that business providers) and company investor relations managers. They primarily focus on differently now.’ traditional factors such as earnings and growth prospects and put too much emphasis on short-term gains without giving appropriate consideration to material ESG risks and opportunities associated with long-term value creation, resilience and sustainable development. These conversations need to be updated to adequately consider the evolved set of material ESG factors and should become instituted as a frequent and formalised investment procedure. ■ Open-source dialogue and tools to share information between investors and companies There is an open door for new models of inclusive dialogue and advanced tools (e.g. online tools) for information sharing between leaders and learners, investors and the companies they invest in. Information sharing is a crucial part of accelerating progress towards agreement on standardised qualitative methods. Companies and capital market actors in developing countries want to be included in the decision-making to ensure that global standardisation reflects the perspectives and needs of a diversity of regions. The WBCSD and UNEP FI may be ideal platforms for these inclusive dialogues.17 Customer retention and satisfaction as key indicators Lessons from the brand valuation journey The brand valuation company, Interbrand, draws links between valuing brand and valuing sustainability. Brands create value by creating demand and securing future earnings for the business. A company’s brand value is today’s value of the earnings it will potentially generate in the future. It is a function of the magnitude of those earnings and the risks to which they are exposed. Brand risk is a function of the company’s risk exposure, adjusted by the strength of its brands. This depends on many factors, including the investments it receives (quantity and quality), brand image (brand’s perceived personality and reputation) and customer franchise (relationship with customers). In this way the concept of sustainability value has many parallels to that of brand value—the more a company proves to the financial markets and other audiences that it is a sustainable business, the lower are a series of risks associated with that company (and the lower the rate used to discount future earnings). Sustainability is not a fad—it is a way of doing business. We can determine the influence corporate ESG performance has on the overall business and its brands, but there is no standard solution. Companies need to assess the relevance of sustainability issues to their business, current perceptions about their brands on this matter, potential upsides of investing in sustainability- related projects, and the reputational risk of not doing so. Brand value is a way to summarise all this. 4.3 Getting started. What investors should ask Company quote, New The types of ESG factors relevant for valuing companies will differ across industry York: sectors and geographies. ‘There is a very In order to get started, sample ESG quantitative data that could be integrated into high volume of corporate valuation models and some qualitative issues that investors could raise questionnaires with companies are shown in Annex A below. The questions under ‘quantitative which are time and data’ should be understood as an effort by investors to supplement the ideal periodic resource consuming disclosure by companies of standardised quantitative data and, where possible, and often don’t standardised qualitative data. Investors should work with companies to elaborate on key performance indicators (KPIs) and the types of ESG quantitative data that need to have relevant be disclosed. questions from a business perspective. This is followed by examples of sector-specific KPIs—these are the types of KPIs The result is that companies should come together and agree on sector by sector. Finally, concrete individual company examples and practical sector-specific guidelines, overviews company ESG and tools show how ESG factors have been and can be assessed and integrated into performance company disclosure and investment analysis and decision-making. assessments are not often related to These are only intended as guidelines and are meant to show how ESG factors can be financially material to business performance, and to underscore the importance material issues.’ of comparative, market competitive data. Ultimately, they need to be decided on by companies within sectors, and discussed with investors. 18 5 Annex A 5.1 Sample ESG considerations by sustainability theme KPI ‘E’ factor Quantitative data Qualitative data Energy use and ■ Breakdown of energy costs and ■ What is the company’ s exposure to future carbon regulation? efficiency forecasts (power, manufacturing, ■ What is the company’ s current position on climate change, its (From WRI/ mobility, buildings, consumers) responsibility to address climate change, and its engagement with WBCSD GHG ■ Breakdown of carbon costs and governments and advocacy organizations to affect climate change Protocol) forecasts – primary effects (grid policy? & off-grid electricity, industrial ■ What are significant actions the company is taking to minimize its processes, fugitive emissions, climate risk and to identify opportunities? What specific actions waste emissions, storage or is the company taking to reduce, offset or limit greenhouse gas removal of emissions) and emissions? secondary and tertiary effects ■ What are the company’ s corporate governance actions on climate (supply chain) change? Has the Board been engaged on climate change? Are ■ R&D in plant and equipment to there executives in charge of addressing climate risk? Is executive reduce energy use compensation linked to meeting corporate climate objectives? ■ Expected cost savings from energy-related R&D ■ % of renewable energy to energy consumed or generated Greenhouse ■ Actual historical direct and indirect gas emissions emissions since 1990 (From UNEP ■ Current direct and indirect FI Climate emissions Change ■ Estimated future direct and indirect Working emissions of greenhouse gases Group, 2006) from their operations, purchased electricity and products and services Water use■ V olume of water consumed by the ■ Where does water consumed come from (groundwater , (From WBCSD company annually (giga liters) – desalination)? Water Working per sales, per product?■ Does the company operate in water-stressed areas? Group 2009 ■ Water footprint (metrics being ■ Do employees have access to sanitation? and the UNEP developed by the Water Footprint ■ Does the company have secure access to water rights over the long FI Water & Network) term? If not, how does it intend to secure the access to water in the Finance Work ■ Past and forecasted cost of water future? Stream, 2009)■ R&D in plant/equipment to recycle ■ Has the company consulted long-term water resource forecasts that water take into account climate change and increasing consumption? ■ Forecasted cost savings from ■ Has management carried out sensitivity analysis of the operational water-related R&D (e.g., from and financial effects of different levels of water availability and reduced energy use) quality? ■ % of recycled water to total water ■ What efforts has the client made to reduce the water footprint of used its facilities? Use of ■ % of forest product inputs that are ■ What are your impacts and dependence on ecosystem services ecosystem certified (e.g., timber, pulp) (covering direct operations, suppliers and customers)? services – ■ Number and/or % of production ■ What is the status of relevant ecosystem ser vices? How do key impact & or extraction sites close to trends affect your core business? How is your company reducing dependence biodiversity hotspots and ecosystem impacts and scaling up solutions? What policies have (From WBCSD protected areas you put into place? Business & ■ % of marine product inputs that ■ Are there opportunities emerging in response to ecosystem Ecosystems are certified (e.g., timber, pulp) changes, including new technologies, markets, businesses and 2007 and revenue streams? the UNEP FI ■ How is your company advancing the sustainability of ecosystem Biodiversity services externally – with research organizations, NGOs, industry & Ecosystem associations and governments? Services Work ■ Are biodiversity losses addressed as part of the selection of site Stream) locations and site design? Are biodiversity offsets purchased? ■ In developing countries, do biodiversity-related risk management measures and standards only comply with local regulation or do they comply with OECD-level regulation? Innovation in ■ Sales forecast in new energy , water ■ Are there any opportunities in the market to introduce a new environment- or ecosystem efficient product or product or service addressing an environmental problem or need? friendly service lines■ Results of market resear ch on consumer demand for energy, water products and ■ % of current and forecasted or ecosystem efficient product or service lines services sales of resource-efficient and/or (UNEP FI work recyclable products to overall sales on Green Financial Products) ENVIRONMENTAL19 KPI ‘S’ factor Quantitative data Qualitative data Employees■ Future labor demand given ■ How dependent is your business model on human (UNEP FI expected rate of growth talent? Human Rights ■ Retention rate of employees■ How are you working towards being employer of Toolkit)■ Labor intensity of business choice in your industry? ■ Health and safety measurements ■ How are you avoiding employee churn? (illness, fatalities)■ What programs do you have in place to ensure ■ Employee training costs and return continuous improvement of employee health, safety on training in productivity terms and well-being? ■ A verage employee remuneration ■ How does this compare with your competitors? relative to national, regional and ■ Are the ILO labor standards applied in all sites around sector average the world? Are suppliers chosen under consideration of ■ % of equity held by non- their labor standard credentials? management staff■ In developing countries: Do employee health and safety ■ Average working hours per week standards comply only with local regulation or also relative to national, regional and with OECD-level standards? sector average ■ % of salary paid during sick leave; temporal length of paid salary during sick leave Poverty and ■ Number of people at the bottom- ■ How do your products and ser vices improve the lives of community of-the-pyramid served by products the poor? impact and services (and aspect of life ■ How much education or guidance is given with (UNEP FI improved as a result) products and services to ensure that products are being Human Rights ■ Number of people whose annual used sustainably and as intended for maximum benefit? Toolkit) income the company has improved? ■ How have social investments decreased risk for the ■ Average employee remuneration company and secured its license to operate? relative to national, regional and ■ How are you demonstrating that your company is sector average contributing positively to the societies, communities ■ Amount of social investment and well-being of people where you operate? (investments in special projects or ■ What programs does the company have in place to infrastructure around operations) protect its ‘license to operate’? For instance, are families ■ % of social investment relative to of employees provided with access to healthcare if the turnover conventional healthcare infrastructure is insufficient (particularly in remote areas of developing countries)? Supply chain ■ Number and % of suppliers ■ Where do product components and raw materials management disclosing adherence to labor come from? standards ■ How is information assured as credible? ■ How are processes assured as legal according to country and global standards? ■ Have the needs of local communities or indigenous peoples been addressed? ■ How are issues of environmental protection and bio- capacity addressed and secured? ■ Are fundamental human rights being respected in labor practices? KPI ‘G’ factor Quantitative data Qualitative data Codes of ■ Number of sustainability initiatives ■ How does your business model provide value to conduct and and networks where the company society? business is an active signatory or member■ What core business decisions and new market principles opportunities have been driven by your understanding of material sustainability issues? ■ What drives value in your business and what sustainability issues are central to those drivers? Accountability■ Number of independent directors ■ How are corporate functions, management and on the Board employee incentives aligned to value drivers and understanding of material sustainability issues? ■ What processes are in place to work with stakeholders according to key accountabilities? ■ Based on drivers of value, what is the company accountable for and who is the company accountable to? Transparency ■ Number of legal disputes against ■ What policies does your company have to communicate and disclosure company filed market sensitive information to investors as soon as it ■ Fees paid for litigation costs arises? ■ Remuneration of senior ■ What policies do you have to prevent briber y and management and board members corruption within your company? in absolute terms; and relative to ■ How does your proposed M&A activity affect your national, regional, sector average company’s corporate disclosure obligations? and company (internal) average Implementation ■ Code of conduct ■ Is your company’s code of conduct consistently – quality and implemented? Is it biting (reinforcing good practice)? consistency Is there evidence that the code of conduct contributes to overall performance? SOCIAL Governance (From WBCSD Measuring Impact working group 2009 (From WBCSD Beyond Reporting 2006) & WBCSD Facts & Trends on Sustainable Consumption, 2008)20 5.2 Sample ESG considerations by sector Sector ESG factor Quantitative data Qualitative data Electricity ■ Carbon footprint, ■ Current carbon emissions per MWh of ■ Explain what strategies the company Utilities power supply electricity is deploying in response to foreseeable (From WBCSD ■ Infrastructure ■ Forecasts for future carbon price and changes in energy/carbon regulation and Power to ■ User awareness carbon costs costs Change, 2009) and efficiency■ Current renewable energy generating ■ What opportunities exist for the company in capacity within the company’s asset a diversified fuel mix and clean technologies? base■ What R&D is the company undertaking ■ Investment in related infrastructure in new generation innovations, including ■ Investment in R&D for resource and ‘smartening’ grids? end-use efficiencies, and smart grid ■ What are your strategies to get more power technology to more people? ■ Investment in awareness building ■ How are you increasing awareness with campaigns for end-user efficiency consumers regarding personal use efficiency? Forest Products ■ Sustainable forest ■ Satisfactory environmental and social ■ Is a strategic/management plan in place to (From WBCSD management impact assessment obtain forest management unit/chain of Forest Products ■ Legality ■ Carbon management custody certification? Principles ■ Certification ■ Forest certification■ How are these policies communicated and 2007 and ■ Pollution and ■ T raceability implemented and who is responsible? PwC-WBCSD environmental ■ Health and safety ■ Can management provide copies of these Sustainable management ■ Investment in tree improvement documents and evidence of procedures (e.g., Forest Finance systems■ Greenhouse gas emissions from whistle-blowing hotline; forest management Toolkit, 2010)■ Local communities sourcing, transport, manufacturing, permits, licenses and agreements available and indigenous etc. for inspection)? people■ For full list, refer to ‘Key sustainability ■ For full list, refer to Management inter view ■ Forest carbon and issues across the value chain of an template in PwC-WBCSD Sustainable Forest ecosystem services example forest products company’ in Finance Toolkit, 2009 PwC-WBCSD Sustainable Forest Finance Toolkit, 2009 Cement■ Climate protection ■ CO2 Accounting Protocol: Calculating ■ How are you managing the improvements in (From WBCSD ■ Fuels and raw CO2 emissions from the production of energy efficiency and emissions reductions Cement materials use cement (i.e., use of clinker substitutes such as slag Sustainability ■ Employee health ■ Fuels and raw materials use and fly ash)? Initiative) and safety ■ Employee health and safety ■ How are you increasing the use of lower ■ Emissions ■ Emissions reduction carbon or carbon neutral alternative fuels reduction ■ Local impacts (e.g., biomass and waste fuels) ■ Local impacts ■ For more see WBCSD Cement ■ How are you upgrading plant technology ■ Reporting and Sustainability Initiative www. (e.g., dry kilns with pre-heaters and pre- communications calciners, now industry standard) Water Utilities■ Affordability and ■ Absolute and relative amounts of water ■ At project start: Has the utility assessed the (From UNEP social inclusiveness leakage affordability of the services it will provide FI Water ■ Environmental ■ % of target population covered? to the local community? Has it adapted the & Finance sustainability of ■ Price of water relative to the level of service to the purchasing power of Workstream, water resources international, national and regional the target communities? 2007) average, as well as the local average ■ Does the utility promote supply and/or income per capita. demand-side efficiency measures? Through ■ % of wastewater treated? % of which measures and mechanisms? wastewater recycled?■ Have alternative sustainable sour ces of raw water supply been identified and assessed as potential back-ups? ■ Is the company aware of maximum levels of water extraction above which the underlying ecosystem would be overexploited? ■ Does the utility have cross-subsidy mechanisms in place to support poor customers? ■ Does the utility have programs in place aimed at expanding coverage to poor communities and districts? ■ Are watershed protection measures and payments in place?21 5.3 Examples of ESG factors in corporate disclosure ‘In 2008 we applied a screening method to estimate the total reduction in CO2 facilitated by the application of our enzymes. The method is based on conventional product lifecycle assessment (LCA, in accordance with ISO 14040). The outcome of the calculations is our carbon footprint, in other words the sum of emissions from suppliers of energy and raw materials, emissions from enzyme production, and the emission reductions achieved from the use of enzymes by our customers. The project has undergone third-party review by PricewaterhouseCoopers LCA experts. ‘For 2007 our carbon footprint has been estimated at 25 million tons of CO2. This means that using enzyme technology instead of conventional technologies has led to considerable reductions in emissions. Extrapolation indicates that corresponding emission reductions in 2008 were around 28 million tons of CO2. The estimation of the 2007 carbon footprint is the starting point for the 2008 estimate and our 2009 target.’ Source: Novozymes’ Annual Report 2008 Risks and opportunities summary: Mondi Priority ecosystem Potential risks Potential Type of risk / service opportunities opportunity Freshwater■ Increased water scarcity ■ Internal efficiency Operational due to: improvements in Z Invasive alien freshwater use species proliferation■ (Co)financing Z Increasing demand water efficiency among nearby, improvements of inefficient water nearby landowners users (farmers) Z Climate change Water regulation■ See above Biomass fuel■ New biomass-to-energy Market and product markets for carbon sequestration Global climate ■ Emerging markets for Market and product regulation carbon sequestration Recreation and ■ Ecotourism or Market and product ecotourism recreation-based revenue streams from company-managed wetlands/grasslands Livestock■ Reduced plantation Operational productivity due to increasing grazing pressures ■ Increased scrutiny from Reputational nearby stakeholders for perceived “under- utilization” of Mondi land set aside as wetlands / grasslands Source: WBCSD Ecosystems Services Review 200822 5.4 Examples of UNEP FI guidelines, overviews and tools to integrate ESG factors by sustainability theme Water as an input Y N NA Has the client assessed the criticality of water as an input in the production process? o o o Has the client conducted an assessment of security of sustainable water supply? o o o This should include a long-term assessment for both ground and surface waters. Is the company/facility dependent on: o o o ■ a single source of supply? o o o ■ supply from a source with many competing users (including ecosystems) o o o ■ supply from another region or country? o o o ■ infrastructure for the delivery of water? Is this adequately maintained? Has the client used long-term water resource forecasts that take into account o o o climate change and increasing consumption? Has the financial impact of water risk been assessed (‘water due diligence’)? o o o ■ Has the management carried out sensitivity analysis of the operational and o o o financial effects of different levels of water availability/quality? ■ Has the management quantified the impact of water risks and made this o o o information available? This would take into account the cost impact of alternative water supplies and the revenue impact of operating interruptions or restrictions due to inadequate water availability. Source: ‘Half Full or Half Empty? A set of indicative guidelines for water-related risks and an overview of emerging opportunities for financial institutions’, UNEP FI Water & Finance Work Stream, 2007 Human rights expectations from companies Companies should respect and promote the following rights: ■ Right to equal opportunity and non-discriminatory treatment. ■ Right to security of person. ■ Rights of workers. Specifically, companies should Z Not use forced or compulsory labour Z Respect the rights of children Z Provide a safe and healthy workplace Z Pay workers a fair wage Z Ensure the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. ■ Respect for national sovereignty and human rights. This includes: Z Respecting the rights of children Z Not paying bribes Z Ensuring that the company’s goods and services are not used to abuse human rights Z Respecting civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights in particular the rights to: development, adequate food and drinking water, highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, adequate housing, education, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of opinion. Source: ‘Human Rights’ CEO Briefing, UNEP FI Human Rights Work Stream, 200823 Sector overview of biodiversity risks Industry Major risks to biodiversity Attendant risks to business sector Agriculture &■ Conversion of natural habitats and marginal ■ Reduced production and biofuels land being brought back into production profitability from the failure (biofuels is a major driver of both) to implement better/best ■ Indirect risks (e.g. through changes in water management practices in relation quality and quantity to downstream users or to soil and water management cumulative issues) (resulting in damage to soil ■ Land use change (generally, conversion from through mechanisation, poor natural state) or farming systems (livestock farming practices and lower and rice) resulting in significant GHG production, and over abstraction emissions and use of water, drainage of ■ The introduction of alien species as part of wetlands, and salinisation) production or pest management systems ■ Lost revenue and productive ■ Use of agrochemicals without an integrated capacity because of failure to assess pest management system and without a full the real economic costs of farming assessment of input requirements marginal lands ■ Loss of access to markets and finance if poor practices are more widely reported Construction &■ Cement production uses large quantities ■ Loss of access to land and resources building of limestone as raw materials and the and reputational damage materials mining of this can be extremely damaging ■ Constrained production and (including to biodiversity associated with limestone operational efficiencies as carbon cement) habitats. Additionally, cement production controls and limits become more is a major emitter of GHGs with attendant demanding climate change risks. Mitigation of emissions ■ Long-term sustainability of and impacts to limestone habitats should be operations will be affected where considered renewable natural resources (e.g. ■ Mining for other construction materials (e.g. timber) are an important element rock, gravel, sand) and also the use of timber of company products can have biodiversity impacts if sourcing from areas of biodiversity and/or ecosystem service value. Electricity■ Power generation involving fossil fuels adds ■ Loss of access to land and resources generation & to atmospheric carbon and is a significant and reputational damage supply contributor to GHGs■ Profitability of hydro operations ■ Power generation can also have significant may be affected by reduced effects on the biodiversity of water courses capacity in reservoirs (as a result of (through the discharge of heated cooling catchment land use change and waters) soil erosion), as well as changing ■ Roads and transmission corridors for power rainfall. Drainage arising from lines can fragment habitats and allow climate change increased access to previously undeveloped ■ Public campaigns and action areas, leading to potentially significant against large emitters of GHGs impacts from land conversion, small-scale ■ Thermal power generation will be mining, hunting and logging affected by GHG emission limits ■ Wind turbines may adversely affect wildlife, and potential liabilities particularly birds Food, beverages■ The primary risks associated with this sector ■ Reputation and market access & are via supply chain impacts associated drivers will increasingly affect both pharmaceuticals with food, beverages and pharmaceuticals retailers and supply chains production. These may be diverse and ■ Security of supply (for fish complicated (e.g. water use to grow grain for and some types of timber) is chicken feed) increasingly an issue ■ Particular care needs to be taken when ■ Forward-looking retailers and food prospecting for pharmaceuticals (and new producers are beginning to assess varieties of foods) since intellectual property environmental and social impacts rights in relation to biodiversity may need to through the supply chain, but to be met date these have largely failed to ■ The other key biodiversity risk associated with assess biodiversity issues (except this sector relates to ‘food miles’ (the distance where there are clear and widely travelled by food items and the carbon/ recognised risks – e.g. oil palm GHG burden they have accumulated), and and fisheries). BES impacts are far embedded water (the amount of water more widespread than generally required to produce a product/food products recognised and environmental – e.g. 11,000 litres of water for a pair of management systems should jeans, and 400,000 litres for a car). Options specifically include supply chain for offsetting carbon emissions associated BES risk capacity with food miles is an area in which many retailers and food producers are currently exploring