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ESG-Septe System

A Brief Guide to SFDR Reporting and Compliance

When the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) came into force in March 2021, it signalled to the world that the EU was ready to take a global lead on ESG reporting and sustainable finance. The move impacted all financial market participants and financial advisors based within the EU. Along with the European Green Deal (which aims to see the bloc carbon neutral by 2050), and the EU’s “green taxonomy” (an industry-based classification system of what can and cannot be marketed as a sustainable product), a potent mix of regulatory mechanisms is set to usher Europe towards an economy in line with the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Things are messier in North America. While Canada has opted for mandatory climate disclosures for Crown corporations starting in 2024, its powerful southern neighbour has shown a more chaotic approach to ESG. On the one hand, the US Securities and Exchange Commission proposed compulsory climate reporting for publicly listed US companies, yet the Supreme Court also ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency’s powers to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Europe’s proactive stance could provide guidance or “lessons learned” for North American responses to the inevitable mainstreaming of ESG. Indeed, SFDR should matter to anyone interested in building the post-pandemic “economy 2.0.”
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ESG-Septe System

What We’ve Learned Automating the ESG Data Convergence Initiative (EDCI) for Clients​

Last year, private equity firm the Carlyle Group and pension fund the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) announced what could become a game changer for the private equity industry. The ESG Data Convergence Initiative, or EDCI, seeks to standardize ESG reporting for general partners (GPs) by creating a single framework for them to follow. The aim is to generate a critical mass of comparable information on how GPs’ portfolio companies are performing on ESG relative to each other, as well as to promote greater reporting transparency for limited partners (LPs). The data will be aggregated into an anonymized benchmark by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Thus far, 59 leading LPs and 121 GPs have agreed to participate in the project, or perhaps what at this point one can termed an experiment, that together represent over $8 trillion in assets under management. If successful, EDCI would be a breakthrough for the industry. Harmonizing ESG disclosures for private markets has conventionally been a gap in the financial market and is essential for sustainability efforts to be credible. In this case, the very investors demanding ESG are setting the parameters of what that means to them, and benchmarking that data to produce an overall picture of the ESG health of the industry.

On the other hand, EDCI does not (so far) provide guidance on how companies can best produce this data. What its benefits will be for GPs, who must now take on an additional reporting burden, will become clearer in the fullness of time.

ESGTree has had the privilege of automating the EDCI framework for its clients to ease this reporting burden. In the process, we have learned three key lessons about implementing the EDCI framework and the significance of it:

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ESG-Septe System

Carbon Accounting 2022 and Beyond

In February of this year, private equity multinational The Carlyle Group publicly committed to hitting net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 across its entire portfolio. The commitment makes much sense; private equity and venture capital firms are ideally suited to lead the charge towards net zero. Unlike their public market asset management peers, they are more directly involved in their portfolio companies, often holding board seats, and therefore able to influence ESG strategy. Because their role is to help their companies grow, we believe it is imperative for private capital firms to build carbon accounting into the DNA of their investments.

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ESG-Septe System

Three Things We’ve Learned Working with Impact Investors on ESG Reporting

By market size alone, impact investing might be far smaller than ESG investing, but its unique profile makes it a critical part of sustainable finance. Its obligation to actively “do good” and contribute towards a positive net change in the communities it engages, rather than concern itself purely with risk mitigation, means that the pursuit of ESG isn’t left to the machinations of pure capitalism. In fact, its unique “do active good” mandate serves as an important “best practices” guide when it comes to ESG reporting and measurement in general. This is because we’ve learned that impact investors can optimize their ESG data using the three major methods below:

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ESG-Septe System

Who Should the Economy Really Serve?

The rallying cry of the American Revolution – no taxation without representation – is today taken as self-evident but deserves a re-examination in light of the climate crisis and sustainable development and ESG efforts. In fact, it could be argued that the whole field of sustainability is an example of taxation without representation.

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ESG-Septe System

ESG Is Here to Stay!

By 2025, ESG assets are estimated to exceed USD$50 trillion. In other words, one third of assets under management (AUM) will be classified as ESG assets in the next three years.Some recent developments spurring the push for ESG include: In 2020, the Big Four accounting firms launched a set of unified metrics on ESG disclosures. The same year, the Chartered Financial Association (CFA) Institute unveiled its first-ever global consultation on ESG.

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ESG-Septe System

Why Should Private Equity and Venture Capital Care About ESG?

The rallying cry of the American Revolution – no taxation without representation – is today taken as self-evident but deserves a re-examination in light of the climate crisis and sustainable development and ESG efforts. In fact, it could be argued that the whole field of sustainability is an example of taxation without representation.

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ESG-Septe System

What Does the Rise of ESG Mean for Impact Investing?

By market size alone, impact investing might be far smaller than ESG investing, but its unique profile makes it a critical part of sustainable finance. ESG assets are on course to hit USD$50 trillion over the next three years, while impact investments are gauged to hover around USD$1 trillion. This begs the question: as ESG continues its meteoric rise, what will happen to impact investing?

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ESG-Septe System

How Do I Integrate ESG Into My Business?

By now, it’s well established that ESG integration is not only good for the world but also good for business net win, in other words.Indeed, study McKinsey concluded that “the value at stake from sustainability (ESG) concerns can be as high as 70% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.” Put another way, up to 70% of a business’s potential earnings could be lost to ESG risks.
Indeed, a study by McKinsey concluded that “the value at stake from sustainability (ESG) concerns can be as high as 70% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.” Put another way, up to 70% of a business’s potential earnings could be lost to ESG risks.