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EU puts up €250k award money for best project proposal on ESG integration

Awards aims to back EU’s consultation on non-financial reporting.

The European Union (EU) has put up a funding award of up to €250,000 to co-finance an innovative project that could prompt mainstream investors to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) information into their valuations of companies. In a call for idea proposals, the EU said the funding should be used to back 50% of the costs of a winning project that would support its own push to mainstream the use of ESG data by the financial markets.
It said this might include the development of teaching or training modules on the valuation of ESG performance and its integration into professional financial or educational qualifications. Another suggestion, it said, included the establishment of a network or academy (virtual or real) to support improvements in the integration of ESG information into market valuations of companies.
The maximum €250,000 award will be allotted to one winning proposal from an EU member state-based organisation. The EU is currently evaluating a public consultation on Non-Financial Reporting, which closedon January 28. EU Internal Markets Commissioner, Michel Barnier, is understood to be keen that the consultation results in new legislative proposals later this year combining financial and ESG corporate reporting. In its Single Market Act, adopted in October 2010, the European Commission proposed that attention should be given to “facilitating more accurate valuation of businesses by the financial markets.” The European Commission’s 2010 Industrial Policy Communication said “the financial crisis showed a new approach is needed to find the balance between short-term profit maximisation and sustainable value creation in the longer run.”
The EU said the objective of the funding award is to enhance “market reward” for sustainable and socially responsible enterprises and facilitate the transition towards a sustainable economy.
It said: “This call for proposals is also an opportunity for the investment community to further align its practices with the expectations of European public policy.”
The deadline for proposals is May 20. Link