A Comprehensive Guide To All Things ESG
Active ownership refers to the utilization of shareholder rights as a means to foster sound corporate governance, engage in discussions regarding environmental and social issues with the company, and generate lasting value. This proactive approach is exemplified through various actions, including proxy voting, direct interaction with corporate management, and active participation by shareholders.
Active investing refers to a dynamic investment strategy that involves actively selecting and diligently monitoring individual investments with the aim of outperforming a benchmark or achieving a specific target return. It involves proactive analysis, decision-making, and portfolio management to achieve superior returns
Asian Corporate Governance Association
Established in 1999, ACGA is an independent, non-profit membership organization that is committed to supporting investors, companies, and regulatory bodies across Asia in adopting robust corporate governance standards. ACGA works towards the effective implementation of these standards, aiming to enhance transparency, accountability, and investor protection in the region.
Forestry entails the administration of forested areas, encompassing water bodies and unused land. The key activities in forestry involve clearing forests and reforesting them. The primary goal of forestry is to ensure a sustained and consistent supply of wood by employing well-planned practices for harvesting and subsequent replanting.
Best in class investment
Best-in-class investment refers to the practice of investing in companies or sectors that exhibit superior Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance when compared to their industry peers. A best-in-class investor selects companies that actively work towards meeting the specific ESG criteria relevant to their respective industries. By focusing on these top-performing entities, best-in-class investors aim to align their investments with sustainable and responsible business practices.
Biocapacity refers to the inherent capacity of ecosystems to generate biologically valuable resources and absorb human-generated waste. On the other hand, an "ecological deficit" occurs when the ecological footprint of a population surpasses its available biocapacity, indicating an unsustainable demand on natural resources and environmental systems.
Business Responsibility and Sustainability report
On August 11, 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs introduced the Business Responsibility Sustainability Report (BRSR) through the Committee on Business Responsibility Reporting Report. The BRSR serves as an expanded reporting framework, aiming to enhance the coverage of non-financial factors in the Business Responsibility Report (BRR). This reporting format is specifically applicable to companies operating in India. To facilitate a smooth transition and promote learning, the Ministry proposes a phased implementation approach, starting with the top 1000 publicly traded firms. This enables smaller businesses to gradually adapt and gain insights from larger entities that have already embraced the reporting requirements.
Business responsibility report
The Business Responsibility Report (BRR) serves as a disclosure mechanism for Indian listed companies to communicate their adoption of responsible business practices to stakeholders. It is designed to provide essential non-financial information about the company, including details about its operations, principles, and responsible business practices. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) introduced the BRR format through a circular issued on August 13, 2012. Initially, it was mandatory for the top 100 listed firms to include the BRR in their Annual Reports. However, from April 1, 2016, this requirement was extended to the top 500 listed companies, and subsequently, to the top 1000 listed companies based on a notification issued on December 26, 2019. It is important to note that the BRR is specific to companies in India.
Established in 2000, CDP is a non-profit organization that operates a global disclosure system, facilitating the management of environmental impacts by investors, companies, cities, states, and regions. With regional offices and local partners in 50 countries, CDP plays a crucial role in enabling transparent reporting and accountability. Notably, CDP has garnered participation from 39 signatories among India's top 100 listed companies, showcasing their commitment to environmental disclosure and sustainability practices.
The carbon budget signifies the permissible quantity of greenhouse gases that can be released into the atmosphere by humanity to achieve the 1.5°C target outlined in the Paris Climate Convention. It serves as a crucial benchmark for measuring and managing emissions in order to mitigate climate change effectively.
Carbon Dioxide Equivalent
Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) is a standardized metric used to quantify the total impact of various greenhouse gases by converting them into an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide (CO2). This measure enables a comprehensive assessment of greenhouse gas emissions, considering the varying potency and longevity of different gases in contributing to climate change.
A carbon credit refers to a transferable certificate or permit that represents the authorization to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) or an equivalent quantity of another greenhouse gas (GHG). The GHG emissions are measured in units of tCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent). Carbon credits form part of a market-based approach aimed at curbing GHG concentrations. Initially allocated to companies or governments, these credits gradually decrease over time. If there is an excess supply, companies or nations have the option to sell the surplus carbon credits since they are tradable on the market.
Carbon Disclosure Project
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an independent and non-commercial organization that maintains the largest database of companies' greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies. The primary objective of the project is to offer valuable information to investors, companies, and governments. The organization requests data from companies, cities, and countries regarding their environmental impact, encompassing aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions and resource utilization like water. Participation in submitting the data is voluntary. Alongside a thorough assessment, the CDP provides recommendations on how companies or cities can further enhance their sustainability efforts.
Carbon pricing is an effective strategy aimed at mitigating carbon emissions by implementing a cost mechanism that assigns a price to a company's carbon emissions. This approach can be categorized into two types: external and internal carbon pricing.
Carbon monitoring involves the systematic measurement and tracking of carbon dioxide or methane emissions resulting from various activities at any given time. It encompasses monitoring emissions from sources such as deforestation and the utilization of fossil fuels. Several widely used systems for carbon monitoring worldwide include Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA), Emissions Trading Scheme Workflow Automation Project (ETSWAP), and the Forms Management System (FMS) utilized in Germany for reporting emissions under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). These systems play a crucial role in providing accurate and comprehensive data on carbon emissions, aiding in the assessment and management of environmental impact.
Carbon Tracker Initiative
Carbon Tracker is an independent financial think tank headquartered in London. It specializes in conducting comprehensive analyses that examine the implications of the energy transition on capital markets. Its primary focus is to evaluate potential investments in high-cost and carbon-intensive fossil fuels.
A carbon sink refers to a reservoir, whether natural or human-made, that has the ability to absorb and retain carbon. These sinks can take the form of natural entities such as oceans and forests, as well as man-made structures like landfills and carbon capture and storage systems. Their function is to effectively capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and store it, thereby helping to decrease its concentration in the atmosphere. Carbon sinks play a vital role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and balancing the carbon cycle.
The circular economy is an economic system that places emphasis on minimizing waste by maximizing the value extracted from resources. It involves a deliberate approach of reusing and recycling existing resources to their fullest extent, aiming to prolong their lifespan within the economic cycle.
Clean technology, also known as green technology or cleantech (greentech), encompasses a diverse set of technologies aimed at reducing or optimizing the utilization of natural resources. Its primary goal is to minimize the adverse environmental impact of technology on ecosystems.
Community investing is an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investment strategy that channels funds towards supporting local businesses and underserved communities, particularly those with low-income populations. Its objective is to enhance the quality of life for individuals residing in these areas while also generating financial returns for investors. Community investing aims to make a positive social impact by directing investments towards organizations and initiatives that address societal needs, promote economic development, and uplift disadvantaged communities.
Climate bonds are a type of fixed-income financial securities that offer environmental and climate-related advantages. These bonds conform to green bond standards, and the funds raised from their issuance are dedicated to financing specific climate change solutions. These solutions encompass a range of initiatives, including projects focused on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, clean energy, energy efficiency, and other environmentally beneficial endeavors. Similar to traditional bonds, climate bonds can be issued by governments, banks, and businesses, providing investors with an opportunity to support sustainable investments while also earning financial returns."
Companies Act 2013
The Companies Act 2013 is a legislation passed by the Parliament of India that regulates company law in the country. It encompasses provisions related to the establishment, functioning, and winding up of businesses in India. The Act sets out the obligations of companies and their directors, ensuring compliance with legal requirements. It received authorization from the President of India in August 2013. For further guidance, reference the Indian Corporate Governance Codes that complement the Companies Act.
Conference of parties
The Conference of the Parties (COP) serves as the decision-making body for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It unites the 197 nations and territories that have become parties to the Convention. The primary objective of the COP is to collectively strive for limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. A crucial responsibility of the COP involves reviewing and assessing the national communications and emission inventories submitted by the Parties. The COP convenes annually to address these matters and advance global climate action.
Corporate governance codes
orporate governance regulations establish the guidelines that corporate boards must adhere to in order to safeguard shareholder investments. These requirements are determined by local regulators on a country-specific level.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) represents a company's ethical and moral responsibility towards its stakeholders, the environment, and the broader society in which it conducts business. It enables corporations to demonstrate social accountability and fulfill their role as responsible corporate citizens by recognizing the influence they exert on various aspects of society, including the economy, social well-being, and the environment.
Council of Institutional Investors
The Council of Institutional Investors (CII) is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization comprising public, corporate, and union employee benefit funds, as well as other employee benefit plans, state and local entities responsible for investing public assets, foundations, and endowments. Together, these members manage a collective asset worth around $4 trillion in the United States. CII serves as a prominent proponent of effective corporate governance, strong shareholder rights, and responsible financial regulations that foster fair and dynamic capital markets. CII actively advocates for policies aimed at enhancing long-term value for institutional asset owners and their beneficiaries in the United States.
Corporate in India Governance Codes
The Companies Act of 2013 serves as the primary legislation governing businesses in India. In relation to listed entities, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has issued the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations of 2015 (LODR). The SEBI LODR encompasses a set of corporate governance principles and norms, along with guidelines and regulations concerning the periodic and event-based disclosures of companies.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity encompasses the multitude of aspects and traits that set individuals apart from one another, including age, race, gender, caste, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, religious ideals, and personal beliefs. Inclusion, on the other hand, involves providing equitable opportunities to all individuals and embracing and valuing them irrespective of their distinctive qualities and characteristics.
Economically Targeted Investments
Economically targeted investments are investments that not only yield financial returns but also deliver social benefits, such as supporting environmentally friendly initiatives like funding renewable energy projects.
Emission intensity, also referred to as carbon intensity (C.I.), quantifies the level of pollutant emissions in relation to a particular activity or industrial process. It is typically measured as the amount of a specific pollutant, such as carbon dioxide, released per unit of energy produced (e.g., grams of CO2 per megajoule). Additionally, emission intensity can be expressed as the ratio of a country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to its gross domestic product (GDP). India has committed to reducing its GDP's emission intensity by 33 to 35 percent by 2030, compared to the levels recorded in 2005.
The Kyoto Protocol introduced regulations that imposed restrictions on carbon emissions, stipulating that greenhouse gases can only be discharged into the atmosphere through authorized permits. These permits, known as carbon certificates, grant companies the right to emit a specific quantity of carbon dioxide within a designated timeframe. By the end of this period, the issuing entity must provide evidence that all of the company's emissions were appropriately offset by these certificates.
Engagement refers to the meaningful connection established between a corporation and its shareholders, enabling active involvement of investors in the decision-making processes of the company.
Environmental funds are investment funds that prioritize environmental standards and practices when making investment decisions. These funds typically invest in companies that aim to make positive environmental contributions on a global scale. This may include companies involved in renewable energy, water purification, waste management, energy efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, or forestry, among other environmentally beneficial activities.
Environmental Management System
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a structured framework designed to assist organizations in attaining their environmental objectives by continually assessing, evaluating, and enhancing their environmental performance. Through consistent review and evaluation, an EMS helps identify opportunities for improvement and facilitates the implementation of effective environmental practices within the organization. It is important to note that an EMS does not impose a predetermined level of environmental performance; instead, each organization tailors its EMS to align with its specific objectives and targets. ISO 14001, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), is a widely recognized example of an EMS, offering a set of international standards and guidance documents for environmental management.
Environment, Social and Corporate Governance
ESG, short for Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance, is a term used in the investment world to describe the application of specific criteria to screen and monitor investments. Environmental criteria assesses a company's performance as a custodian of nature, considering factors such as its environmental impact, sustainability practices, and efforts to mitigate climate change. Social criteria focus on how a company manages its relationships with various stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities in which it operates. Governance examines the company's leadership, executive compensation, internal controls, auditing practices, and the protection of shareholder rights.
ESG integration refers to the deliberate and methodical incorporation of ESG issues into the process of investment analysis and decision-making. In simpler terms, it involves considering and evaluating all relevant factors, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, during investment analysis and decision-making. By integrating ESG considerations, investors can comprehensively assess the material aspects that impact investments, thereby making more informed and holistic investment decisions.
ESG analysis is the process undertaken by investors to evaluate and assess the material risks and growth opportunities associated with an investment, taking into account ESG parameters.
ESG indices function as benchmarks for organizations that demonstrate outstanding ESG practices. Notable examples include the MSCI World ESG Index, FTSE ESG Index Series, and NIFTY 100 ESG Index.
ESG Investment Styles
ESG investment approaches encompass various investment types, including positive and negative screening, ethical investing, impact investing, and active ownership.
ESG Research Providers
ESG research providers, including liAS, MSCI, CP, and Bloomberg, offer ESG ratings to investors. Each provider may employ a distinct methodology to assign company-specific ratings. However, there is currently no standardized approach across the industry. Institutional investors are progressively integrating the ratings provided by ESG rating companies into their investment decision-making processes, as they seek to identify new investment prospects aligned with their ESG goals.
External Carbon Pricing
External carbon pricing is implemented through an Emissions Trading System (ETS), which sets a limit on total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and allows lower-emitting companies to sell excess allowances to higher-emitting entities. On the other hand, internal carbon pricing involves businesses taking proactive climate action by establishing their own internal carbon price. This internal price assigns a monetary value to greenhouse gas emissions, enabling businesses to consider the financial implications of emissions when making investment decisions and managing their operations. Certain industries, such as oil and gas, minerals and mining, and electric power, have adopted internal carbon pricing as a risk mitigation strategy, preparing themselves for potential future carbon-reduction regulations.
Fund ESG Score/Sustainability Scores For Investment Funds/ Fund ESG Quality Score
These ratings are provided by external entities that assess a company's level of ESG compliance and strategy. The grading approach used by these entities is not standardized and may vary based on the specific elements chosen by the external evaluator when evaluating the company.
Coal, crude oil, and natural gas are prime illustrations of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are the preserved and fossilized remnants of plants and animals from millions of years ago. They possess a significant carbon content and emit substantial amounts of carbon dioxide when combusted.
Forestry entails the administration of forested areas, encompassing water bodies and unused land. The key activities in forestry involve clearing forests and reforesting them. The primary goal of forestry is to ensure a sustained and consistent supply of wood by employing well-planned practices for harvesting and subsequent replanting.
In contrast to standards, frameworks serve as a collection of concepts and principles that guide the structuring and preparation of information, as well as the inclusion of broad topics. Sustainability frameworks, such as the TCFD recommendations, the CDSB Framework, and the <IR> Framework, establish valuable conceptual frameworks for effectively communicating the sustainability-related risks and opportunities faced by businesses. Generally, frameworks play a crucial role in promoting consistency of information, both across reporting entities and over time. By providing detailed guidance on governance, risk, and strategy, frameworks enable companies to disclose sustainability information with the same level of rigor as they do financial information, facilitating high-quality reporting.
Global Report Initiative (GRI)
GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) is an internationally recognized independent standards organization that supports businesses, governments, and other organizations in comprehending and conveying their impacts on various topics, including climate change, human rights, and corruption. GRI is known for providing the most widely utilized standards for sustainability reporting worldwide, known as the GRI standards. These standards enable organizations to effectively report on their sustainability performance and promote transparency and accountability in their operations.
Global Report Initiative Standards (GRI)
Coal, crude oil, and natural gas are examples of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are the buried, petrified remains of plants and animals that existed millions of years ago. They have a high carbon content and produce a lot of carbon dioxide when burned.
A green bond refers to a specific type of fixed-income investment designed to generate funds for projects focused on climate and environmental initiatives. These bonds are often tied to specific assets or projects. The European Investment Bank pioneered the issuance of green bonds in 2007 with the Climate Awareness Bond, a structured bond where proceeds were dedicated to financing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. In 2019, India emerged as the second-largest developing market for green bonds, following China.
Green building, also referred to as green construction or sustainable building, encompasses both the physical structure and the implementation of environmentally conscious and resource-efficient practices across all stages of a building's life cycle. This includes planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and even demolition. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a collection of rating systems established by the US Green Building Council to guide and evaluate the sustainable design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings.
The greenhouse effect pertains to the phenomenon wherein the Earth's surface and lower atmospheric layer, known as the troposphere, experience warming due to the presence of gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases trap heat and contribute to the overall increase in temperature.
Green investing is an investment strategy focused on environmental sustainability, which entails directing investments towards activities that have direct or indirect positive impacts on the environment.
A greenhouse gas refers to any gas in the Earth's atmosphere that has the capability to absorb and re-emit infrared radiation, which is released from the Earth's surface as heat energy. This process contributes to the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases found in the Earth's atmosphere include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
Greenwashing transpires when a company or organization invests significant resources into portraying itself as environmentally friendly, rather than genuinely reducing its environmental impact. It involves making unsupported or deceptive claims about the environmental benefits of their products or services.
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) offers accounting and reporting standards, sector-specific guidance, calculation tools, and training resources for businesses, local governments, and national governments. It has established a comprehensive and globally recognized framework for measuring and managing emissions across various sectors, including private and public sector operations, value chains, products, cities, and policies. The GHGP plays a pivotal role in facilitating greenhouse gas reductions on a broad scale.
GHG Emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3)
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect, directly influencing climate change by absorbing infrared radiation. Common GHGs include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). To measure GHG emissions, the concept of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) is used. When assessing GHG emissions, organizations should distinguish between three different scopes. Scope 1 emissions encompass direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the organization, such as the use of natural gas for building heating or fuel for the organization's fleet. Scope 2 emissions comprise indirect emissions resulting from the generation of purchased energy. The amount of GHG emissions associated with the same amount of electricity consumption can vary based on the energy mix of the country or state, which includes the share of nuclear, renewable, coal, oil, and gas sources used to produce the consumed electricity. Scope 3 emissions encompass all other indirect emissions occurring in the value chain of the reporting company, both upstream and downstream, that are not covered in Scope 2. This includes emissions from suppliers, transportation, product use, and disposal.
Human rights are inherent rights that are universally granted to all individuals, irrespective of their race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. International human rights law outlines the obligations of governments to act in specific ways or refrain from certain actions to safeguard and promote the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and groups.
Hydropower refers to the generation of energy by harnessing the movement of water. It is one of the earliest sources of electricity production. Hydropower relies on the water cycle, where solar energy heats water on the Earth's surface, causing it to evaporate, condense, and fall as precipitation. The accumulated precipitation in rivers and streams determines the availability of water for hydropower. The electricity generation capacity of hydropower plants depends on the volume flow and the gradient of the water. Typically, water flows through pipes or pressure conduits, driving turbines that activate generators. Pumped storage power plants can store excess energy by pumping water to higher storage basins and releasing it to generate electricity when needed.
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
As a member of the World Bank Group, the IFC promotes economic development and enhances people's lives by fostering the growth of the private sector in developing countries. The IFC provides financial investments, advisory services, and partnerships to support private enterprises and stimulate sustainable and inclusive development.
Impact refers to the outcomes or effects that result from a project or program. It often refers to broader and longer-term effects that may be intended or unintended, positive or negative. Impact can encompass various dimensions, such as social, economic, and environmental consequences.
Impact investment is an approach to investing that aims to generate both financial returns and measurable social or environmental impact. It involves directing capital towards companies, organizations, or funds with a clear intention to achieve specific and identifiable positive social or environmental outcomes alongside financial gains.
Internal Carbon Pricing
Internal carbon pricing is a mechanism adopted by businesses to address climate change by assigning a monetary value to greenhouse gas emissions. It enables companies to consider the cost of emissions when making investment decisions and managing their operations. Internal carbon pricing is particularly utilized by industries such as oil and gas, minerals and mining, and electric power as part of their risk mitigation strategy to prepare for potential future carbon reduction regulations.
Institutional Investor Advisory Services India (IIAS)
IIAS is an independent advisory firm that provides research, data, and opinions on corporate governance and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues. They also offer voting recommendations on shareholder resolutions for approximately 800 Indian companies, representing over 95% of market capitalization.
Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA)
IICA is a subordinate office under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India. It handles various subjects, matters, and affairs related to corporate affairs regulation, governance, and policy.
International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
IOSCO is an international body that brings together securities regulators from around the world. Its primary objective is to promote cooperation and harmonization of securities regulation to protect investors, ensure fair and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. IOSCO plays a crucial role in developing international standards and best practices for securities regulation.
International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)
IIRC is a global coalition comprising regulators, investors, companies, standard setters, academia, and non-governmental organizations. The council advocates for integrated reporting, which involves communicating about value creation as an integral part of corporate reporting. IIRC's mission is to establish integrated reporting and thinking as a mainstream business practice in both the public and private sectors.
International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)
Established in 1995, ICGN is an organization led by investors with a mission to promote effective standards of corporate governance and investor stewardship worldwide. Its aim is to advance efficient markets and sustainable economies globally.
International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)
Created by the IFRS Foundation Trustees on 3 November 2021, the ISSB is a standard-setting board focused on sustainability. Its objective is to develop internationally recognized sustainability standards to enhance transparency and comparability in reporting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information.
Indirect emissions encompass Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions. These emissions result from the activities of a reporting company but occur elsewhere and are owned or controlled by another entity. The reporting organization lacks direct influence over these emissions.
Integrated Reporting involves consolidating material information about an organization's strategy, governance, financial performance, and prospects to provide a comprehensive view of its commercial, social, and environmental context. The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is widely recognized as a leading authority in this field.
Joint Implementation (JI)
Joint Implementation is a project-based mechanism established under Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol. It applies to projects carried out collaboratively by two developed countries that have committed to emission mitigation targets. Joint Implementation projects contribute to overall emission reduction efforts.
The Kyoto Protocol, adopted on 11 December 1997, is an additional protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It was the first international agreement to impose binding emission reduction commitments on developed countries. Kyoto Implementation refers to the fulfillment of these commitments.
Low Carbon Funds
Low-carbon funds invest in companies focused on combating climate change by reducing deforestation and the reliance on fossil fuel reserves. These funds support environmentally friendly initiatives and sustainable practices.
Materiality is the quality of being relevant and significant. According to the SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) Standards, information is deemed financially material if its omission, misstatement, or obscuration could reasonably influence investment or lending decisions made by users based on their assessments of short-, medium-, and long-term financial performance and enterprise value. Double materiality refers to considering both sustainability issues that impact companies' operations and the impact of companies' operations on society and the environment. Dynamic materiality acknowledges that the issues deemed material may change over time, recognizing the evolving nature of materiality. Embedded materiality recognizes that the scope of material issues can vary depending on the chosen perspective. This can range from a narrow focus on issues reflected in financial statements to a broader consideration of issues affecting enterprise value, as well as those with positive or negative impacts on the environment and society.
Modern slavery, also known as contemporary slavery, refers to the persistent existence of institutional slavery in today's society. It involves the ruthless exploitation of individuals for personal or commercial gain. Forms of modern slavery include human trafficking, debt bondage, bonded labor, and child slavery.
Ministry of Corporate Affairs
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is a government ministry in India responsible for regulating Indian enterprises in the industrial and services sectors. Its primary focus is the administration of the Companies Act 2013, Companies Act 1956, Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008, and other related acts, rules, and regulations. The MCA aims to ensure the proper functioning of the corporate sector in accordance with the law.
Modern slavery, also known as contemporary slavery, refers to the existence of institutionalized slavery in today's society. It involves the ruthless exploitation of individuals for personal or commercial gain. Various forms of modern slavery include human trafficking, debt bondage, bonded labor, child slavery, and other similar practices .
Ministry of Corporate Affairs
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is an Indian government ministry primarily responsible for regulating enterprises in the industrial and services sectors in India. It focuses on administering acts such as the Companies Act 2013, Companies Act 1956, Limited Liability Partnership Act 2008, and other allied acts and regulations. Its main role is to oversee and regulate the functioning of the corporate sector in accordance with the law.
Mission-related investment is an approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing where foundations and organizations make investments to fulfill their philanthropic goals. It involves investing in projects or companies that align with their mission and contribute to positive social or environmental impact, alongside seeking financial returns.
MSCI World ESG Index
The MSCI World ESG Indexes aim to represent the performance of popular ESG investment methodologies. These indexes include, re-weight, or eliminate businesses based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. They provide investors with a way to track the performance of investment strategies that prioritize ESG factors.
Natural Gas for vehicles (NGV)
Natural Gas for Vehicles (NGV) is an alternative fuel for transportation that utilizes compressed natural gas (CNG) to provide cleaner and more environmentally friendly transportation options. It can be used in various types of vehicles, including automobiles, buses, trucks, cranes, and others. NGV offers reduced emissions compared to traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles, contributing to cleaner air quality.
National Guidelines for responsible business conduct
The National Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC) are a set of guidelines that aim to promote responsible business practices in India. These guidelines were formulated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and are designed around nine thematic pillars of business responsibility called 'the Principles.' They encourage businesses to operate with integrity, transparency, sustainability, and responsiveness across the value chain. The NGRBC Principles also emphasize the promotion and protection of the environment and human rights.
National Guidelines for responsible business conduct Principle
In 2018, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs introduced an updated version of the National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental, and Economic Responsibilities of Business and developed the National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct (NGRBC) Principles. The NGRBC Principles revolve around nine key thematic pillars, known as "the Principles," which serve as a framework for promoting responsible business behavior. These principles aim to guide businesses in operating with integrity, emphasizing transparency, sustainability, and responsiveness throughout their value chain. Additionally, the NGRBC Principles encourage businesses to actively contribute to environmental preservation and safeguard human rights. It is important to note that the NGRBC Principles are specific to India and outline disclosure requirements tailored to the Indian context.
Negative screening involves the exclusion of companies or industries from investment portfolios based on predetermined social and/or environmental criteria. This approach is utilized by investors to align their investment decisions with their values and principles. By excluding entities that do not meet specified criteria, investors aim to support companies that adhere to desired social and environmental standards, thereby promoting sustainability and responsible practices.
Net Zero Carbon
Net zero carbon refers to achieving a balance between the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by human activities and the removal of GHGs from the atmosphere. It involves reducing man-made GHG emissions through various methods, such as transitioning to renewable energy sources, energy efficiency improvements, and adopting sustainable practices. Any remaining GHG emissions are offset by equal carbon removals, such as forest restoration and afforestation, resulting in a net carbon balance of zero for the Earth. Achieving net zero carbon is essential to meet the global warming objective of the Paris Agreement, aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening
The Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial Systems (NGFS) was launched at the Paris One Planet Summit on December 12, 2017. NGFS is a collaborative group comprising central banks and supervisors committed to sharing best practices and contributing to the development of environmental and climate risk management in the financial sector. The NGFS aims to promote sustainable finance and address climate-related financial risks by integrating environmental factors into financial supervision and risk management.
Norms Based Investments
Norms-based investing is an ESG investing strategy that involves screening investments based on international norms and minimum standards of corporate behavior. It ensures that companies meet the criteria set by international frameworks such as the United Nations Global Compact Principles, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. This approach aims to invest in companies that adhere to responsible and ethical business practices as defined by these international norms .
Carbon offsetting is a method used to achieve carbon neutrality by compensating for emissions in one company, country, or industry sector by reducing emissions elsewhere. It involves investing in projects and activities that lead to emission reductions, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements, and reforestation. By offsetting emissions, the overall carbon footprint is reduced, contributing to mitigating climate change. Carbon offsetting enables the balancing of emissions, creating a net-zero or carbon-neutral outcome.
Organisation Cooperation (OECD) for Economic and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization dedicated to developing policies that promote prosperity, equality, opportunity, and well-being for all. It serves as a platform for member countries to collaborate and shape policies for better economic and social outcomes. The OECD works on various areas such as trade, investment, taxation, education, and environmental sustainability to facilitate international cooperation and policy development.
Organisation Cooperation (OECD) for Economic and Development Principles
The OECD Principles of Corporate Governance establish a global consensus on the significance of good corporate governance in ensuring the economic vitality and stability of financial markets. These principles cover six key areas: effective corporate governance framework, shareholder rights, equitable treatment of shareholders, stakeholder role in corporate governance, disclosures and transparency, and responsibilities of the board. They provide guidance for companies to enhance transparency, accountability, and integrity in their governance practices, fostering trust and confidence among investors and stakeholders.
Over-boarding refers to a situation where a director serves on an excessive number of company boards, compromising their ability to fulfill their obligations effectively. When a director is over-boarded, they may face challenges in devoting sufficient time and attention to each board, potentially impacting their decision-making and effectiveness. Over-boarding can hinder a director's ability to fulfill their fiduciary duties and responsibilities adequately. It is essential for directors to strike a balance and avoid taking on more board positions than they can reasonably handle to fulfill their obligations.
Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS)
Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are substances with a positive ozone depletion potential (ODP) that can thin the stratospheric ozone layer. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) regulates most ODS through the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Examples of ODS include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, and methyl bromide. Although some HCFCs like HCFC-22 or R-22 are still used in existing air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, many ODS have been banned due to their harmful environmental impact. Eliminating the use of ODS is crucial for protecting the ozone layer and mitigating climate change.
Physical risks associated with climate change can manifest as acute or chronic shifts in climate patterns. These risks have financial implications for organizations, including direct damage to assets and indirect impacts from supply chain disruptions. Changes in water availability, quality, and sourcing, food security, and extreme temperature variations can affect an organization's financial performance, operations, supply chains, transportation needs, and employee safety. Managing physical risks requires proactive measures to adapt to changing climate conditions, enhance resilience, and minimize financial losses due to climate-related impacts.
Principles of Responsible Banking
The Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) provide a framework for banks to align their strategies and practices with societal goals outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Over 240 banks have joined this movement to make a positive contribution to society and the environment. The PRB framework includes six principles that integrate sustainability across strategic, portfolio, and transactional levels of banking operations. It enables banks to demonstrate their commitment to responsible and sustainable practices, fostering a banking sector that contributes to a more sustainable future.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international climate change agreement adopted by 196 parties at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris on December 12, 2015. Its primary objective is to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement emphasizes collective global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance adaptation measures, provide financial support to developing countries, and promote technology transfer to address the challenges of climate change. It represents a global commitment to combat climate change and work towards a sustainable and resilient future.
Passive investing is an investment strategy that involves holding investments for an extended period with minimal trading activity. It typically involves investing in an index or a diversified portfolio that aims to replicate the performance of a specific market or asset class. Passive investors seek to match the returns of the selected benchmark rather than actively making investment decisions. This approach offers a cost-effective and less time-intensive investment strategy, particularly for those who believe in the long-term growth of the overall market or asset class.
A company's purpose refers to its fundamental reason for existence and its impact on the world. It involves creating profitable solutions to address the problems faced by people and the planet, without profiting from creating problems. It goes beyond a sole focus on generating profits and encompasses a long-term value-creating promise that contributes to the company's local or global environment. Purpose-driven companies aim to make a positive impact on society and the environment while ensuring sustainable value creation.
Principles of Responsible Investment
The Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) is a collaborative initiative led by UNEP Finance Initiative and UN Global Compact, with participation from investors worldwide. The PRI promotes responsible investment by encouraging investors to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their decision-making processes. It provides a framework for incorporating ESG issues into investment practices and ownership decisions, supporting sustainable financial markets and overall societal well-being. The six Principles for Responsible Investment offer a voluntary set of guidelines that enable investors to align their investments with sustainable development goals and contribute to a more environmentally and socially responsible global economy .
Principles of Sustainable Insurance
The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General, these principles provide guidance for insurers to integrate sustainability considerations into their operations and decision-making processes. They facilitate sustainable economic and social development by better managing ESG issues. Over 180 organizations, representing a significant portion of the global insurance industry, have adopted these principles, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability. The Principles for Sustainable Insurance are recognized in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and FTSE4Good as part of the insurance industry criteria.
Rankings are lists that classify companies based on their performance and arrange them in a specific order or grouping using a defined grading system. Rankings allow for the comparison of companies based on various criteria, such as financial performance, sustainability practices, or other relevant factors. They provide insights into the relative positions and achievements of companies within a particular context or industry. Rankings can serve as a benchmarking tool and contribute to transparency, accountability, and healthy competition among companies .
Rating refers to the evaluation of a company based on a comparative assessment of its quality, standards, or performance, particularly in relation to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Ratings assess the extent to which a company aligns with recognized ESG criteria and may be conducted by specialized rating agencies or organizations. The purpose of ratings is to provide stakeholders, such as investors, customers, and the public, with information about a company's ESG performance, allowing them to make informed decisions and encourage improvements in sustainable practices .
Representative Concentration Pathway
Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) were developed for the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They represent four future scenarios of changes in radiative forcing resulting from human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. The RCPs, namely RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6, and RCP8.5, indicate the projected change in radiative forcing by the year 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels. These pathways help in assessing potential future climate conditions and serve as important tools for climate change research, policy formulation, and strategic decision-making to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Radiative forcing is a measure of the impact of a specific greenhouse gas or climatic element on the balance between solar energy absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back into space. It quantifies the change in the amount of radiant energy reaching the Earth's surface. Positive radiative forcing leads to a net energy gain, resulting in a warmer climate, while negative radiative forcing leads to a net energy loss and a cooler climate. Radiative forcing is an important concept in climate science and is used to assess the contributions of various factors to global warming and climate change. Understanding radiative forcing helps in developing strategies to manage greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
REDD+ stands for "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation" in developing countries. It is an initiative developed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). REDD+ aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting sustainable forest management, conservation, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. It recognizes the role of forests in mitigating climate change and provides financial incentives to developing nations to support their efforts in reducing deforestation and forest degradation. REDD+ also emphasizes the importance of addressing the rights and well-being of indigenous communities and local stakeholders in forest conservation and sustainable development .
Renewable energy, also known as clean energy, refers to energy derived from naturally replenished resources or processes. It includes energy generated from sources such as sunlight (solar energy), wind, water (hydropower), biomass, and geothermal heat. Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite and contribute to climate change, renewable energy sources are sustainable and have lower or no greenhouse gas emissions. The use of renewable energy is crucial for reducing dependence on fossil fuels, mitigating climate change, and transitioning to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy system.
Renewable Energy Certificates
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are a market-based instrument that certifies the bearer owns one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated from a renewable energy resource.
Responsible investing is an investment strategy that integrates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions and ownership practices. It recognizes that long-term investment returns depend on the stability, functionality, and responsible management of social, environmental, and economic systems. Responsible investors aim to generate financial returns while considering the broader impact of their investments on society and the environment. By actively incorporating ESG considerations, responsible investing contributes to sustainable development, risk management, and the advancement of socially responsible business practices.
This determines which organizational entities, such as groups, businesses and companies, are included in or excluded from your disclosure. These may be included according to your financial control, operational control, equity share or another measure. Companies can apply this organisational boundary when responding to questions unless specifically asked for data about another category of activities.
Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 Emissions
Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions are categories used to measure and assess greenhouse gas emissions associated with an organization's activities. Scope 1 emissions represent direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company, such as emissions from on-site combustion or industrial processes. Scope 2 emissions account for greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the company. Scope 2 emissions occur at the facility where electricity is generated. Scope 3 emissions encompass indirect emissions resulting from activities that the organization does not own or control, such as emissions from business travel, procurement, waste management, and water usage. By accounting for all three scopes of emissions, organizations can comprehensively assess and manage their carbon footprint and identify opportunities for emission reductions and sustainable practices across their value chain .
Securities and Exchange Board of India
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulatory authority responsible for overseeing and regulating the securities and commodity markets in India. Established in 1992, SEBI safeguards the interests of investors and promotes the development and proper functioning of the securities market. SEBI operates under the guidance of its members, including the Chairperson nominated by the Union Government of India, officers from the Union Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs, and members nominated by the Union Government, including representatives from the Reserve Bank of India. SEBI plays a vital role in maintaining market integrity, investor protection, and fostering transparent and efficient capital markets in India.
Shareholder activism refers to various activities undertaken by one or more shareholders of a publicly traded company to effect positive change within the corporation. Shareholders exercise their rights as partial owners to engage in dialogue with management, participate in voting processes during annual meetings, and raise concerns regarding the company's governance, strategy, or other relevant matters. Shareholder activism aims to drive improvements in corporate practices, transparency, sustainability, and long-term value creation. It encourages companies to consider the interests of shareholders, stakeholders, and the broader society while ensuring accountable and responsible corporate behavior.
Scenario Analysis Planning
Scenario analysis is a process of evaluating and examining potential future events or scenarios and predicting the feasible outcomes and consequences. It is often used in financial modeling to estimate changes in the value of a business or cash flows, considering various favorable and unfavorable events that may occur. In the context of climate change, scenario analysis helps companies assess the potential business implications of climate-related risks and opportunities. It enables organizations to understand different future scenarios, evaluate their potential impacts, and develop strategies to adapt, mitigate risks, and seize opportunities in a rapidly changing environment. Scenario analysis enhances decision-making by providing insights into possible futures and their potential implications on business performance and sustainability.
Science-based targets are set by companies to align their greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts with the latest climate science. These targets are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well-below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Science-based targets provide a clear pathway for companies to contribute to climate change mitigation by defining specific emission reduction goals that are informed by scientific research and modeling. By setting science-based targets, companies demonstrate their commitment to combatting climate change and contribute to the global transition to a low-carbon and sustainable future.
Shariah is Islamic legislation that governs various aspects of life, including trade and investment. It prohibits involvement in enterprises associated with alcoholic beverages, gambling, adult entertainment, abortion, defense, traditional banks or insurers, and most industries related to pork.
Shariah-compliant investments adhere to the principles of Shariah law. These investments align with Islamic religious values and are similar to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investments. They screen out enterprises that do not meet the social responsibility standards set by Shariah law. Shariah investments promote social fairness by sharing risk and benefit, while prohibiting short selling, speculating, and the use of derivatives.
Solar power harnesses the energy of the sun. Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight into electricity. The process involves the interaction of photons, which are particles of solar energy, with semiconductor material in the PV cells. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected, pass through, or be absorbed. Only the absorbed photons provide usable energy by removing electrons from the atoms in the material, generating a current flow and creating an electrical circuit.
Sustainable finance refers to the practice of considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions in the financial sector. It involves incorporating long-term sustainability considerations into investments, supporting sustainable economic activities and projects. Environmental considerations encompass climate change mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity preservation, pollution prevention, and the promotion of the circular economy. Social considerations include issues of inequality, inclusivity, labor relations, human capital investment, community support, and human rights. Governance considerations focus on the management structures, employee relations, and executive remuneration of public and private institutions, ensuring the inclusion of social and environmental factors in the decision-making process.
Sin stocks are shares of corporations involved in unethical activities such as alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, or firearms. Ethical investors tend to avoid sin stocks because these companies are believed to profit from human vices.
System Level Investing
System-level investing involves investors intentionally considering the broader environmental, social, or financial system context when making security selection and portfolio construction decisions. It encompasses the analysis of the interdependencies and impacts of investment choices on environmental, social, and financial systems. By taking these factors into account, investors seek profitable opportunities that support stable business operations and functioning financial markets.
Social Impact Bonds
Social impact bonds are financial instruments that provide funding to the public sector for projects aimed at improving specific social outcomes while also delivering cost savings. These bonds bring together government entities, service providers, and investors to implement proven programs designed to achieve desired results. The first social impact bond was issued by Social Finance Limited in the United Kingdom in September 2010. As of January 2021, over 206 impact bonds, totaling more than USD 434 million, have been issued in 35 countries.
Stewardship refers to the engagement of shareholders with publicly traded corporations to promote corporate governance standards that generate long-term benefits for shareholders. Shareholders exercise their participation and voting rights at annual meetings to express their opinions and influence decision-making processes.
Stewardship codes are principles-based frameworks that assist institutional investors in fulfilling their obligations to protect and enhance the value of their beneficiaries' investments. Adherence to these codes improves corporate governance practices within the companies in which institutional investors invest .
Stranded assets are assets whose value has diminished due to changes associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy. This concept is prominent in environmental and climate change discussions, highlighting how environmental factors may render assets unprofitable in various sectors. For example, the German government is decommissioning nuclear power plants to enhance sustainability, which results in stranded assets in the nuclear energy sector.
Sustainability entails meeting current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It refers to human activities that aim to prevent the depletion of natural resources and maintain an ecological balance, ensuring a sustained quality of life over time.
Sustainability Accounting Standard Boards
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is a non-profit organization that establishes guidelines for corporations to disclose financially significant sustainability information to their investors. Sustainability accounting encompasses operations that have a direct impact on an organization's society, environment, and economic performance. SASB's standards enable better measurement and reporting of sustainability-related risks and opportunities, enhancing transparency and accountability.
The Six Capitals
The Six Capitals framework categorizes different forms of value affected or transformed by an organization's activities and outputs. These capitals are financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural. The framework recognizes that an organization's business model relies on various inputs from these capitals and demonstrates how its activities transform them into outputs. By considering all these forms of capital, organizations can better understand and manage their impacts and dependencies on the six categories, leading to more integrated and sustainable decision-making .
Transition Risk (in the context of climate change)
Transition risk refers to the risk inherent in adjusting strategies, policies, or investments as society and industries strive to reduce their dependence on carbon and mitigate their impact on the climate. Transitioning to a lower-carbon economy involves significant changes in policies, laws, technologies, and markets to address the requirements for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Depending on the nature, speed, and focus of these changes, transition risks may pose varying levels of financial and reputational risks to organizations.
Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was established by the Financial Stability Board in 2015. Its purpose is to develop consistent and standardized disclosures of climate-related financial risks. These disclosures aim to enhance the quality and comparability of information available to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders, enabling them to make more informed decisions regarding investment, credit, insurance underwriting, and assessing financial sector exposure to climate-related risks.
Tipping points refer to critical thresholds in the Earth's climate system, beyond which irreversible changes occur. They represent the "point of no return" where certain environmental processes, such as ice melting or ecosystem collapse, reach a level that triggers rapid and potentially irreversible consequences for the climate system. Tipping points are significant in understanding the potential risks and impacts of climate change and highlight the urgency for mitigation and adaptation measures .
Transition to a low-carbon economy
The transition to a low-carbon economy involves shifting from an economic system heavily reliant on high-carbon fossil fuels to one that predominantly utilizes low-carbon or carbon-neutral energy sources. This transition aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate climate change. It encompasses changes in various sectors, including energy production, transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture, and requires the adoption of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency measures, sustainable practices, and supportive policies. The transition to a low-carbon economy is crucial for achieving global climate goals and building a more sustainable future.
Thematic investment focuses on identifying and capitalizing on long-term structural trends and themes that are expected to shape the future. It involves constructing investment portfolios based on specific macro trends, such as technological advancements, demographic shifts, or societal changes. Thematic investors select companies that are well-positioned to benefit from these trends, aiming to generate long-term growth and outperform traditional market benchmarks. Thematic investment allows investors to align their portfolios with their beliefs and convictions about the future direction of various industries and sectors.
Transition risks arise during the process of transitioning to a less polluting and more sustainable economy. These risks result from changes in policies, regulations, market preferences, technology advancements, and societal norms that can significantly impact the value of assets or increase business costs within certain sectors. Transition risks include regulatory shifts, reputational impacts, market disruption, changes in consumer demand, and the need for substantial investment in new technologies and infrastructure. Understanding and managing transition risks is crucial for organizations and investors as they navigate the evolving landscape of sustainable and low-carbon solutions.
Triple bottom line
The triple bottom line is an accounting framework that considers three dimensions of performance: social, environmental, and financial. It expands the traditional focus on financial results to include social and environmental indicators. The triple bottom line approach recognizes that businesses and organizations have a responsibility to not only generate profits but also consider their impacts on people (social aspects) and the planet (environmental aspects). By assessing performance across all three dimensions, the triple bottom line framework aims to promote sustainability, responsible business practices, and long-term value creation that goes beyond financial gains.
United Kingdom Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF)
The United Kingdom Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) is a membership network established in 1991 that represents sustainable and responsible financial services in the UK. It brings together over 250 members, including asset managers, pension funds, research advisors, and non-governmental organizations. UKSIF promotes responsible investment practices and the use of finance to support sustainable economic development while safeguarding society and the environment. The association plays a crucial role in driving the adoption of sustainable investment strategies, influencing policy decisions, and raising awareness about the importance of integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into financial decision-making.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a global development network established in 1965. It facilitates technical and investment cooperation among nations, providing expert advice, training, and grants support to developing countries and least developed countries. UNDP works closely with countries to address global and national development challenges, helping them integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their national planning and policies. The UNDP aims to promote sustainable development, poverty reduction, environmental conservation, and social progress by offering integrated solutions and fostering collaboration among governments, communities, and other stakeholders.
United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP)
The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) is a framework consisting of 31 principles that implement the United Nations' Protect, Respect, and Remedy framework. These principles address the relationship between human rights and the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The UNGP provides guidelines for businesses to prevent, mitigate, and address adverse human rights impacts associated with their operations, products, or services. It emphasizes the importance of respecting human rights throughout a company's value chain and encourages companies to establish effective grievance mechanisms and remediation processes. The UNGP serves as a global reference for promoting responsible business conduct and upholding human rights standards.
United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)
The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) is an international network of investors committed to incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into investment practices. UNPRI provides a framework consisting of six principles that guide investors in integrating ESG factors into their decision-making processes and ownership practices. These principles encourage investors to incorporate ESG issues into their investment analysis, engage with companies on ESG matters, and promote ESG disclosure and transparency. By adopting the UNPRI principles, investors strive to generate sustainable long-term returns while contributing to a more equitable and environmentally responsible global financial system.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG)
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) are a set of 17 interconnected goals designed to address global challenges and guide efforts to achieve sustainable development by 2030. The SDGs encompass various dimensions of development, including poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, social equity, and economic prosperity. They provide a universal call to action, encouraging governments, businesses, civil society, and individuals to work together to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The SDGs cover a wide range of issues, such as climate action, clean energy, sustainable cities, responsible consumption, and gender equality, aiming to create a more inclusive, just, and sustainable world.
Value-based investment is an investment strategy that focuses on investing in companies or assets that align with certain environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values and principles. It seeks to generate positive financial returns while also considering the broader impact of investments on sustainability and ethical considerations. Value-based investors aim to support environmentally sensitive practices, social responsibility, and sustainable business models. By incorporating ESG criteria into investment decisions, value-based investors strive to create value not only for themselves but also for society and the environment.
Water funds are investment solutions aimed at addressing the challenges of freshwater scarcity and promoting sustainable water management. These funds actively contribute to public policies related to water, both within and outside of businesses. They support initiatives and projects that alleviate water scarcity, enhance water quality, and upgrade water supply infrastructure. Water funds can involve financial investments, partnerships, or initiatives that advance technologies, practices, and policies for efficient and equitable water use. By directing resources toward water-related solutions, water funds play a vital role in ensuring the availability and sustainability of freshwater resources for communities, industries, and ecosystems.
Wind power, or wind energy, involves harnessing the energy of the wind to generate electricity. It primarily relies on wind turbines, which convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy through the rotation of turbine blades. Wind power is a sustainable and renewable energy source that produces no greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants during operation, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel-based power generation. Wind farms consist of multiple wind turbines connected to the electric power transmission network, enabling the production of clean energy at scale. Wind power plays a significant role in reducing reliance on fossil fuels, combating climate change, and advancing the transition to a low-carbon energy system.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a global association comprising over 200 international firms, led by CEOs. The council focuses on advancing sustainable development by driving systemic changes across various sectors. It works through six program areas: Circular Economy, Cities and Mobility, Climate and Energy, Food, Land, and Water, People, and Redefining Value. Each program aims to foster sustainability and address key challenges through collaborative projects and initiatives. The WBCSD plays a crucial role in shaping business practices, promoting sustainable solutions, and supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by mobilizing businesses to integrate sustainability into their strategies, operations, and decision-making processes.