A new environmental, social and governance data tool has been created to shape how ESG information is used going forward, especially with greater access, transparency and reporting in mind.
The ESG Book was developed by an international coalition of more than 20 business and sustainability organizations out of frustration that data lacked consistency and availability and with limited disclosure while companies accelerate investment in sustainable practices. The tool supports the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact and was developed by Arabesque.
It makes sustainability data more available to multiple users and lets companies be the curators of their own ESG digital platform while providing framework neutral ESG information in real time.
Organizations that manage more than $100 trillion of assets are committed to the principles of responsible investment as more large businesses pledge to reach net zero goals. Still, the lack of disclosure and inconsistency of data has slowed the investment toward these objectives.
That is where the ESG Book aims to help make sustainability goals more accessible. This comes as many business leaders say ESG is a top priority in their businesses or equally as important as financial success. Additionally, nine out of 10 investors worldwide implement ESG into their business decisions, according to a report from Corbin Advisors.
With these market shifts, the biggest factor for improved data may be transparency.
The creators of the ESG Book say companies should feel empowered to report on the most important ESG issues to their stakeholders. By doing so it makes the available information clearer and also helps to identify gaps in the data.
The tool also allows for ESG data to be mapped across a range of frameworks, which can allow data to be populated from multiple resources at the same time. This can produce improved insights into information companies decide to disclose.
That can be important to businesses as more focus is put on ESG efforts because reporting and transparency are areas that seem to be lagging. A survey by ISN earlier in 2021 found that while 60% of companies had invested in environmental management systems, only 7% actively tracked their impacts.
As organizations move to improve in this area with their ESG activities, the creators of the tool want more accessibility and impartiality. They say the information should be standard and have equal access to users. This will provide up-to-date information to help guide global capital flows, they say.
In that regard the tool aims to provide a level playing field with the data with a standard platform for all users that allows the collection of data from based on sustainability questions across multiple frameworks at the same time while also adjusting to changes in the market.
More than 200 businesses and organizations from the United States and Europe recently asked governments to help implement ESG policies and standards, as well.
The ESG Book looks to provide all of this to organizations while letting them have control and maintenance of their data. This helps improve oversight from investors and other business partners while helping to improve transparency and reduce errors, the organizations say.
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