Daily ESG Briefing: GRI and EFRAG team up on biodiversity reporting standards

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the Global Reporting Initiative have joined forces on new biodiversity standards. The pair will join each other’s technical expert groups, share information and align their work plans as part of the project. EFRAG will provide proposals for EU biodiversity disclosure standards to policymakers in mid-June, while GRI’s aims to release an updated Biodiversity Standard in the second half of 2022.  

Scientists have written to the European Commission raising their concerns about the prospect of gas being included in the EU Green Taxonomy. “The EU Taxonomy was conceived as a science-based gold standard to avoid greenwashing,” said the 66 signatories to the letter. “The proposal to include gas into the Green Taxonomy would result in the Taxonomy itself becoming a greenwashing tool”. 

Asset owners in Switzerland have been advised to incorporate sustainability policies into their process for awarding mandates to managers, in new recommendations from Swiss Sustainable Finance. A report published this week provides a series of recommendations for asset owners, managers, insurers and other financial market participants.  

Microsoft Corp’s shareholders have approved a proposal by US ethical investment house Arjuna Capital asking the tech giant to prepare a report on the its workplace sexual harassment policies. However, another proposal by Arjuna, requesting a report on median race and gender gaps, was rejected “given that Microsoft details its commitments and progress achieving greater diversity and inclusion and ensuring pay equity in its annual Global Diversity and Inclusion Report.” 

Fidelity International has identified deforestation, the Just Transition, and double materiality as the key ESG themes it will be focusing its sustainable investing engagement agenda on for the year ahead.