The PRI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) are currently working in collaboration to drive corporate-investor action on sustainability. The aim is to put sustainability at the heart of financial and strategic decision making by facilitating direct conversations between investors and business about what decision-useful sustainability related information is, and how and where that information can be used.
Since WBCSD and PRI announced the collaboration in August 2020, there have been significant external developments that will lead to a reshaping of the global sustainability reporting system. In September 2020, a ‘Statement of intent to work together towards comprehensive corporate reporting’ was announced by CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC and SASB to progress towards comprehensive corporate reporting. On 30th September 2020, the IFRS Foundation Trustees published a consultation paper on the global approach to sustainability reporting. Further, IOSCO has established a Sustainable Finance Taskforce of global capital markets regulators to set out a more cohesive, transparent, and standardised form of sustainability disclosures.
As these efforts gather pace to align the system of sustainability disclosures and reporting, it will be crucial to provide a coordinated view on preparer and user needs and expectations, as well as insight on how information is used to inform strategic management and investment decisions, now and in the future.
The PRI and WBCSD are convening a group of leading CIOs and CFOs to support and accelerate the efforts of IFRS, IOSCO and voluntary standard setter initiatives, to ensure these initiatives reflect the needs of investors and companies, and initiate a meaningful dialogue between companies and investors on the future of sustainability-information needs for businesses and investors.
Call for participants
The PRI is calling for signatory CIOs to participate in a taskforce, along with CFOs from the issuer community1 to:
- Bring together a diverse group of business and investment leaders from different sectors, geographies and asset classes.
- Provide insight into how corporate sustainability information is interpreted, applied and used to inform/change investors’ assessments, models, strategies and decisions. This in turn will help companies to decide what to report and how, and framework developers to identify the reporting provisions that will elicit decision-useful information.
- Provide input into voluntary and regulatory corporate reporting standard processes, addressing the following:
- the information needs of users and what information issuers need to provide (as described under 2), and how the sustainability risks and outcomes reporting and disclosure system can align to these needs
- expectations on deliverables, end goals and timelines from the regulatory and standard setters’ process
- feasibility of proposals from a user and preparer perspective
- practical implementation channels.
- To inform standardization, will make recommendations on decision-useful sustainability-related information required to reflect the differentiated needs and applications of businesses and investors.
Including investor and corporate perspectives will ensure that these initiatives reflect the collective objectives and needs of companies and investors. Ultimately, this will enable frameworks and standards to support meaningful dialogue between companies and investors to inform valuation techniques, incentives and actions that contribute towards resilient financial systems and sustainable development.
Membership and eligibility
The taskforce will consist of a mix of investors and issuers across industry sectors and asset classes to ensure that findings reflect the challenges faced by preparers, the needs of users, and a variety of functional, regional, and industry perspectives. Taskforce members should be recognized leaders with the capacity to act objectively and independently and have demonstrated willingness to drive change at a global level.
The taskforce will be led by co-chairs, representing the investor and corporate perspectives, and will be appointed from members selected for the taskforce.
Members will be selected by the PRI and WBCSD CEOs based on the following criteria:
- Chief Investment Officer or equivalent C-suite position from an asset owner or asset manager PRI signatory.
- Demonstrated interest in resolving sustainability data challenges and understanding of corporate reporting and disclosure frameworks and the institutional landscape.
- Recognised as a leader in the investment community within their region.
- Interest and willingness to work on information needs to support both financially material and sustainability outcomes.
- Ability to cover the full spectrum of sustainability issues.
- Ability and commitment to contribute expertise and time to the work of the taskforce.
Members of the taskforce will be appointed by the PRI following an open invitation to the signatory body.
- The taskforce working group will be comprised of 8 CIO participants from the investor community, with equal participation from CFOs from the issuer community.
- Initial term for the taskforce will be for one year. Any alteration of tenure length for members is at the discretion of the taskforce co-chairs and PRI and WBCSD Executive
- Taskforce members will be appointed in an individual capacity and recruitment will be conducted with a focus upon ensuring appropriate diversity.
- A short biography (maximum 300 words);
- A statement expressing your interest in participating and a brief description on you and your organisations experience in working with and resolving sustainability data challenges and how the global sustainability reporting system should evolve to meet investor needs (maximum 300 words).
Applications should be made by 19 February 2021.
1 The WBCSD are running a parallel call for interest for CFOs from their business network.