The Big Four Collaborates to Provide ESG Reporting
In September, the Financial Times released an article about the Big Four collaborating to provide ESG reporting standards in 2021. The announcement represents the first joint approach to ESG reporting. Currently, there are a number of frameworks and standards, as seen in the External Frameworks section of ESG Infinite. The new standards mentioned could have the potential to establish a widely adopted reporting framework.
What does this mean for your company? The framework consists of 21 core metrics, primarily quantitative, and 34 expanded metrics, which are less established and may require responses such as monetary values. These metrics are aligned with the SDGs and fall under the principles of Governance, Planet, People, and Prosperity. The World Economic Forum and the Big Four published more information in a white paper, including the metrics, the majority of which are sourced from at least one of the five main frameworks – CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC, and SASB. The approach behind the metrics falls under similar reasoning for metrics requested by existing frameworks – consistency in reporting, materiality, actionability, universality across businesses and industries, and feasibility of monitoring and reporting.
While many of us are already overwhelmed by the number of frameworks and surveys out there, the Big Four coming together to form a standardized ESG framework brings us a step closer to a single structure used by both companies and investors.