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$28trn investor group tenders for corporate emissions benchmark provider

Climate Action 100+ seeks proposals from data providers on a “pro-bono basis”

Climate Action 100+ has completed the latest stage in its efforts to create a benchmark to assess the progress of the largest corporate carbon emitters – closing a Request for Proposals for data provision, which the $28trn initiative would like to receive for free.

The programme, whose 256 members include heavyweights such as Deutsche Asset Management, Amundi and HSBC Global Asset Management, was launched late last year and will last for five years. During that time, it plans to engage with target companies on its three “overarching goals”: companies’ governance of climate risks and opportunities; emissions reductions across the value chain; and disclosure.

According to the RFP, seen by Responsible Investor, the Climate Action 100+ steering committee has agreed to establish a benchmark to assess progress by its target companies on these goals. Each goal now has “high level categories” that “serve as a guide to potential benchmarking providers as to areas where the benchmark should assess companies’ alignment with the three goals”, the document says.

The RFP is the first stage in appointing one or more third-party benchmarking providers, which Climate Action 100+ plans to do by the end of June. The organisations leading the initiative – including Ceres, the PRI and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change – will then work with signatories to develop a suitable methodology, and providers will undertake an initial assessment of all target companies by September.Climate Action 100+ is expected to extend its list of target companies to around 170 this year. The firms so far are focused on, but not limited to, the oil & gas, electric and transportation sectors. The current list has been developed using CDP data on the companies’ combined emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3).

“Proposals completed on a pro-bono basis are strongly encouraged”

When it launched, Climate Action 100+ quoted its members as saying that climate change was “a material and systemic risk no long-term investor can afford to ignore”.

However, the coalition says in its RFP that budget limitations mean “proposals completed on a pro-bono basis or using pre-existing funding sources are strongly encouraged”.

Respondents have been asked to recommend specific indicators and methodologies to assess firms, complete an assessment of all the target companies and “complete a high level ‘traffic light’ assessment” of each firms’ compliance with each category in the framework.

The benchmark should be based entirely on publicly available information, the RFP said, adding: “The methodology used to award each level within the indicator should be provided and will be made publicly available”.

The review will be completed annually.