Joint investor-corporate statement links fiduciary duty and climate change disclosure

Convened by the Climate Disclosure Standards Board with the UNEP Finance Initiative

Some of the world’s leading investors and companies have got together to issue a joint statement stressing the importance of climate change disclosure and fiduciary duty.
“We are a group of companies and investors sharing a concern that financial markets do not yet take sufficient account of climate-related corporate performance, risks and opportunities relevant to future shareholder value because of a lack of comprehensive and comparable information in ‘mainstream’ corporate reports for the investment community,” the high-level group states.
“This information gap undermines the efficiency by which markets are able to allocate capital to its most productive uses over the medium to long term — a crucial enabler of strong and sustainable economic growth.”
A small sample of the companies involved includes Honda, Nestlé, Philips, Unilever, Pirelli, KPMG, J Safra Sarasin and Nissan; the full list of investor signatories is available below.

The statement was convened by the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), the consortium of eight business and environmental organizations, with the support of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI). The CDSB called the statement a “game-changing collective commitment”.

First reported by RI on July 30, the statement was open to investors, businesses, regulators and stock exchanges; the desired outcome is the availability of more “comprehensive and comparable” environmental information in mainstream corporate reports.

Signatories have committed to produce and make use of such information on a common basis through the CDSB’s Climate Change Reporting Framework, or other comparable framework, whether or not required by current regulation.“We take this step primarily out of a sense of fiduciary responsibility,” the companies and investors say. “We believe shareholders and plan beneficiaries have an inherent interest in the completeness and comparability of climate-related information available in annual and other mainstream corporate reports.”
They add: “We encourage executive teams, board members and trustees of other companies and investors to consider joining us in this effort to improve the allocative efficiency of our financial system.”

Investors backing the statement include:

Aviva Investors
Boston Common Asset Management
Calvert Investments
Capital Innovations
Daiwa Asset Management
Friends Fiduciary
First Affirmative
Green Century Funds
Portfolio 21
Pax World Mutual Funds
Quantum Financial Planning
Rockefeller & Co.
Sonen Capital
Trillium Asset Management
Walden AM
Wilbanks partners
Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR)