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Daily ESG Briefing: Global reporting body IIRC launches consultation

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has launched a 90-day consultation on proposed updates to its International <IR> Framework. The draft was informed by 300 responses that were gathered by the IIRC on three topic papers published in February. Feedback is being requested from stakeholders via an online survey, and a final version is expected in December. The consultation comes as the IIRC names its new head, Conor Kehoe, from McKinsey & Co.

The Pan-Asia Securities Lending Association (PASLA) is to publish its own set of standardised ESG principles for securities lending in the APAC region, media reports have confirmed. As a first step the association is expected to launch a consultation. PASLA Chairman Stuart Jones said ESG issues in securities lending typically focus on exercising voting rights, and transparency about who borrows securities and how they use them. He added that such issues could be managed through the design of securities lending programmes and the use of technology for monitoring. The efforts build on the work of the International Securities Lending Association (ISLA), which will release a set of Principles for Sustainable Securities Lending through its Council for Sustainable Finance. 

DWS has proposed "green, healthy buildings as economic stimulus" in Europe during the recovery from Covid-19, as a response to the European Commission's green building and renovation plan, Rebuild Europe. According to a paper published by DWS, a recent survey of hundreds of central bank and national finance department officials found that retrofitting buildings was one of the top ways to stimulate growth and cut carbon emissions For the last six years, DWS has led the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EFFIG), a group of financial institutions including Allianz Investment Management, ING, Triodos and Swedbank, advising the Commission on energy efficiency financing barriers as well as policy and market solutions. The author of the recent report, Senior ESG Strategist Murray Birt, is leading the EEFIG Steering Committee’s focus on the Covid-19 recovery package alongside rapporteur Peter Sweatman.

The Responsible Mining Foundation claims that new research demonstrates that mining companies are failing to disclose the impacts of their activities on water quality, but that “operational concerns about water supply mean that companies are more likely to report on their water consumption levels”. The non-profit pointed out that “other industries and water users downstream of mining operations need to know about how both the quality and quantity of their water resources are being impacted by mining; and investors, financiers and customers of mining companies want to know how companies are handling their water-related risks.”

Finance in Motion is running a competition in collaboration with the Green for Growth Fund to identify businesses or projects with the potential to deliver meaningful climate impacts. It is the second year for the competition, and more information can be found here