Idea Exchange – James Robertson

Consultation: Practice Assurance Standards for SDG Bonds
Organised by: UNDP

UNDP SDG Impact is pleased to share the first consultation draft of Practice Assurance Standards for SDG Bonds (the Standards) and is seeking your feedback.

The Standards are being designed to help investors ensure their processes are in line with best practice impact measurement and management, and to demonstrate an investor’s contribution to the SDGs. The Standards also serve to operationalize important existing Principles to drive more consistent implementation and provide credibility for the market, reducing the risk of impact or SDG washing.

Please provide your feedbacks using the Feedback form and send it directly to sdgimpact.standards@undp.org by 17th July 2020.

The Guiding Questions and Frequently Asked Questions are also provided to assist in focusing feedbacks.
For more information, please visit the website: https://sdgimpact.undp.org/ .

Consultation: Revisions to the International <IR> Framework
Organised by: International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)

Over the next 90 days, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) calls for your feedback on a new Consultation Draft, proposing revisions to the International <IR> Framework.

The IIRC calls on stakeholders globally to share their thoughts on the Consultation Draft to ensure the <IR> Framework responds to the evolving market context and supports robust, effective reporting. Feedback is requested through an online survey and via participation in one of over 20 virtual roundtables hosted by the IIRC’s partners globally.

The Consultation Draft has been informed by the 300 responses the IIRC received on three topic papers published in February this year, ongoing observation of market practice internationally, as well as the detailed deliberations of the IIRC’s <IR> Framework Panel, a diverse group of reporting experts from the business, investor and accountancy communities. A companion document that sets out the basis for the proposed <IR> Framework revisions is also available.

The consultation is open until 19 August 2020, with further details available via www.integratedreporting.org/2020revision

Webinar: Ensuring a Sustainable Recovery in the ASEAN region: What Role for the Finance Sector?
Date & Time: 11th June 12:30pm HKT
Organised by: ILO, UN Women, UNICEF, UNHRSP, United Nations ESCAP and Business & Human Rights Asia Pacific

As part of the main session of the UN Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights – Asia Pacific (9-12 June), UNEP FI is co-organising a session on the role of the finance sector in the sustainable and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in the ASEAN region, with speakers from CIMB Group, Malaysia, WWF Singapore, UN Environment Programme and Government Pension Fund, Thailand.

This session will discuss the role of the finance sector in driving more responsible business practices and investments, in support of a more sustainable recovery. It will hear what banks and responsible investors, including institutional investors are doing in that regard, and discuss how government can help drive the change towards more integration of ESG criteria in investment and financing decisions, to push more ambitious action of companies, including as regards climate change.

Webinar: Growing Sustainable Finance in Asia in the New Normal
Date & Time: 18th June 9:30pm HKT
Organised by: Impact Entrepreneur, LLC

In this virtual fireside chat, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker and Asia Value Advisors’ Philo Alto will discuss with our distinguished group of panellists — Leonie Kelly of Sustainable Finance Initiative, En Lee of LGT, Ronie Mak of RS Group, and James of PRI — the trends and developments in growing sustainable finance in Asia in the new post-pandemic normal.

The conversation will tackle topics such as:

– Trends and developments in sustainable finance in Asia in the private, institutional and development sectors in the current transition phase to a new post-pandemic normal
– Political and economic headwinds in the post-pandemic normal and how sustainable finance is (or is not) staying the course in Asia
– Playing the long-game — building a cross-sector talent pipeline in sustainable finance
– Practical considerations — state of impact measurement and management; challenges and gaps in the sustainable finance ecosystem in Asia; and, how US, Europe and Asia regions can learn from and support each other
– Turning crisis into opportunities for the future — role of policy and ecosystem capacity building; advice on how one’s own professional journey can support sustainable finance and contribute to systems change in the new normal.

Sustainable Finance Webinar Recordings:

Sustainable Finance Reports & Research

1. New Report: Will COVID-19 fiscal recovery packages accelerate or retard progress on climate change?
Published by: Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

The COVID-19 crisis is likely to have dramatic consequences for progress on climate change. Imminent fiscal recovery packages could entrench or partly displace the current fossil-fuel-intensive economic system. 

Here, we survey 231 central bank officials, finance ministry officials, and other economic experts from G20 countries on the relative performance of 25 major fiscal recovery archetypes across four dimensions: speed of implementation, economic multiplier, climate impact potential, and overall desirability. 

We identify five policies with high potential on both economic multiplier and climate impact metrics: clean physical infrastructure, building efficiency retrofits, investment in education and training, natural capital investment, and clean R&D. In lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) rural support spending is of particular value while clean R&D is less important. 

These recommendations are contextualised through analysis of the short-run impacts of COVID-19 on greenhouse gas curtailment and plausible medium-run shifts in the habits and behaviours of humans and institutions.

2. New Report: From farm to table: Ensuring fair labour practices in agricultural supply chains (Results from PRI Collaborative Engagement 2017-19)
Published by: PRI

This report summarises the results of the second phase of a PRI-led engagement on labour practices in agricultural supply chains. A first phase of the engagement, during 201316, sought to understand labour rights challenges and risks in supply chains. This second phase, which ran from 201719, involved deeper engagement between 29 PRI signatory investors and 33 companies in the Beverages, Food & Drug Retail, Food Producers and General Retailers sectors. Its objective was to identify and assess existing corporate practices, encourage enhanced communication and reporting, and support improvement of performance and impact by target companies.

The engagement involved an assessment of companies across six areas: supplier codes of conduct; governance and accountability; traceability and risk assessment; sourcing and supplier relationships; collaboration on systemic issues; and monitoring and corrective action.

3. New Reports: ESG Implications of Coronavirus
Published by: Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings has published a trio of reports on the ESG implications of Coronavirus. The reports are free to download through the links below:

Fitch’s ESG Framework and Coronavirus: A look at the short and longer-term implications of Coronavirus through Fitch’s ESG Relevance Score framework, including how deterioration of balance sheets may affect policy and ESG-related investments, as well as greater scrutiny of “social licenses to operate”.
Coronavirus May Slow but Won’t Derail Low-Carbon Transition: A deeper dive into how Coronavirus may affect climate risks and regulations both in the short and medium term.
Crisis Conditions to Expose Governance and Credit Risks: A look at how tougher economic times can reveal governance failures, and leave creditors of the affected companies exposed to potential losses.