Answering your questions about The ESG Exchange

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Is ESG reporting likely to be mandatory for Private entities and if so, when do we see this happening?

  • The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), operating under the IFRS Foundation, is developing standards to be used in conjunction with the existing International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) standards with which the world is familiar. Currently private companies in 144 countries around the world report using these International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and its stands to reason then that, following the publication and adoption of the ISSB standards, they will be required to include this sustainability information (“ESG report”) in their annual reports.
  • Entities that do not include this information will not be providing their stakeholders with a comprehensive view of the sustainability of their entity. Providers of capital, such as banks and clients, may increase the cost of their capital to include a risk premium to cater for the uncertainty this missing information presents.
  • These standards are expected to be in place over the next 3 to 4 years.
  • These are not the only sustainability-related reporting standards which organisations will be required to publish; other reports include industry specific, regional and regulator specific requirements.

When will The ESG Exchange How-To Playbooks be published?

  • The Techical Committee’s Practice Groups are determining their own timeframes to sure that the Playbooks are suitable for publication.
  • The Prototype How-To Playbook for COP 28 is currently being built and will be launched at COP 28 in early December 2023.

How long will it take to implement what is needed for sustainability reporting?

  • Unlike reformatting existing reports to cater for the changing reporting demands, sustainability reports, in the vast majority, require information that currently does not exist in the organization. In addition, sustainability reports will be expected to be assured and comparable and therefore require the same level of rigor as is currently applied to the organization’s financial information. Most organizations are not prepared for such new requirements. 
  • Early publishers of assured sustainability reports, using accepted international standards, will have an advantage over others as they will have the management system, capabilities and competencies in place to rapidly respond to the changing economic, environmental and social demands of organizations. They will also be able to provide their stakeholders with increased certainty in their investment decisions.
  • Private companies may find it easier to implement a sustainability reporting framework more quickly, especially if shares are closely held as consultation is likely to be easier and faster.

This will need board buy-in, so how do executives address board resistence?

  • We believe that the board or the governing body still needs to take a leading role and demonstrate their accountability to the organization in this way. The How-To Playbooks are specifically tailored for each organizational role to ensure that bridges are built between the organizational silos and an integrated approach across the whole organization results. 
  • Directors should build their knowledge and engage executives actively, to ensure the purpose of the company is determined and agreed, and that a coherent corporate strategy is developed having taken into account relevant externalities and contextual factors.

Will The ESG Exchange remain part of the Good Governance Academy?

  • Discussions are currently underway to launch The ESG Exchange as a separate legal entity.
  • The ESG Exchange will be incorporated as a Charity in an EU country.

How can I collaborate?

If I add Intellectual Property to The ESG Exchange Playbooks, how will this IP be protected?

  • The ESG Exchange enters into Content Licensing Agreements to ensure that IP is recognised (financially or otherwise) when published publicly to The ESG Exchange Portal.
  • Users of The ESG Exchange Portal will be required to register and login and acknowledge and agree to the terms of conditions of the use of the IP published to the Portal
  • All Technical Committee and Advisory Committee Members enter into agreements  with The ESG Exchange to participate in The ESG Exchange’s activities. These agreements include respect for IP.
  • Should a Committee Member feel uncomfortable in disclosing their IP, they should raise such to the administration team prior to disclosing this IP, whereafter a solution will be sought or the IP should not be disclosed.

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The ESG Exchange is an initiative of the Good Governance Academy

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