small changes - big impacts
risk - emissions - engagement
Alignment with widely accepted disclosure frameworks puts you in control of your sustainability strategy & message.
However, the ESG space is quickly evolving, which means language and frameworks relating to ESG are also rapidly changing.
This is challenging to keep up with, so we have included a brief introduction to some of the important ESG frameworks - with acronyms explained!
If you have any questions, we'd love to discuss further with you - just get in touch.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
17 Goals to Transform Our World
The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.
They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
Greenhouse Gas Protocol
The GHG Protocol is the world's most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standard for calculation of emissions and reductions (offsets).
The standard addresses measurement and management of greenhouse gases (GHGs) across three "scopes":
Scope 1 - refers to direct emissions caused by an organisation's activities and operations
Scope 2 - refers to emissions from electricity and energy used for powering, heating and cooling of an organisation's buildings
Scope 3 - refers to emissions from an organisation's supply chain
Most emissions reporting schemes require application of the GHG Protocol standard to ensure some degree of consistency and comparability of reported values between organisations.
ISO 14064 - Quantification & reporting of GHG emissions & removals
ISO (the International Organisation for Standardisation) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies with technical committees formed to develop standards for a variety of topics.
ISO 14064 refers to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) quantification and reporting and is published in three parts, providing principles and requirements for:
Part 1 - designing, developing, managing and reporting organisation-level GHG inventories.
Part 2 - determining baselines, and monitoring, quantifying and reporting of activities intended to cause GHG reductions or removals.
Part 3 - conducting validation and verification of GHG inventories.
ISO 14064 Standard is consistent with the GHG Protocol. The GHG Protocol provides a framework and best practices for developing a GHG inventory, and the ISO 14064 Standard establishes minimum standards for compliance with these best practices.
Several of our sustain:able team members have ISO 14064 qualifications to ensure we provide our clients with accurate and auditable results that comply with recognised global standards.
Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
The Financial Stability Board created the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to improve and increase reporting of climate-related financial information.
The TCFD recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures are widely adoptable and applicable to organizations across sectors and jurisdictions. They are designed to solicit decision-useful, forward-looking information that can be included in mainstream financial filings.
The recommendations are structured around four thematic areas that represent core elements of how organizations operate: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets.
As detailed in our blog post, on 29th October 2021 the UK became the first G20 country to enshrine mandatory climate disclosure for large companies into law, with the rules set to come into force in April 2022. “Large companies” include publicly traded companies with more than 500 employees and private companies with more than 500 employees and over £500 million in turnover. The mandatory disclosure will be in line with the TCFD recommendations.
The GRI Standards create a common language for organizations – large or small, private or public – to report on their sustainability impacts in a consistent and credible way. This enhances global comparability and enables organizations to be transparent and accountable.
The GRI Standards help organizations understand and disclose their impacts in a way that meets the needs of multiple stakeholders. In addition to reporting companies, the Standards are highly relevant to many other groups, including investors, policymakers, capital markets, and civil society.
International Sustainability Standards Board
The IFRS Foundation is a not-for-profit, public interest organisation established to develop high-quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted accounting and sustainability disclosure standards.
On 3 November 2021 at COP 26, the IFRS Foundation announced the creation the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).
The intention is for the ISSB to deliver a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosure standards that provide investors and other capital market participants with information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities to help them make informed decisions.
Early consultation drafts indicate this new standard will draw extensively from existing frameworks, including TCFD. The sustain:able team are keeping a close eye on the progress of this evolving framework and reporting standard.
Science Based Targets initiative
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets.
The SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Science-based targets show companies how much and how quickly businesses need to reduce their GHG emissions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change - leading them on a clear path towards decarbonization.
The SBTi is developing new guidance for companies extracting fossil fuels to set science-based targets. This new pathway was due to be launched in 2021, but is not yet finalised. However consultation and guidance documents can be found here. Until the methodology is finalised, the SBTi is unable to validate targets for companies in the oil and gas sector. Other companies that explore, extract, mine and/or produce coal or other fossil fuels cannot get their targets validated at this stage, irrespective of percentage revenue generated by these activities.