THE PLASTIC DILEMMA

plastic bottles

Jpsseline Cusme Written by Josseline Cusme, Business & Strategy Analyst
Reading time: 5 minutes


Plastic and packaging in particular make up a flash point for consumer sustainability concerns related to climate change. Surprisingly, much theoretically recyclable packaging is not really recycled. This means that most of it goes directly straight to landfill. In addition, a proportion of plastic packaging is not realistically recyclable through the current end-of-life infrastructure.

It is essential to start to recognize that ditching plastics in the foreseeable future is infeasible. This point is illustrated by their affordable price, versatility, and their rest of properties related with protection and availability readiness: they keep food fresh, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, keep healthcare products safe and save energy in the logistics chain. In fact, plastic provide considerable convenience and substantial consumer value.

There is a clearly long road ahead circularity achievement, regarded as a key role for sustainability success. In fact, the circular economy conceptualizes an incremental process of rdefini9ng the relationship between economic activity and growth, on one side, the consumption and disposal of finite sources, on the other

In addition, growing consumer interest will continue to drive stakeholder attention to plastic packaging sustainability issues.

According to a National Geographic publication from 2017, more than 91 percent of the plastic waste produced globally is not recycled. The same publication states that in 2018 more than 8,300 million tons of plastic have been produced globally since the mass production of plastic began. Around 6.3 billion tons of this waste ends up in landfills, oceans and rivers. If this is not stopped, landfills will contain 12 billion tons of plastic waste by 2050.

It is a universally acknowledged truth that plastic waste collection and recyclability are regarded as the key of sustainability across waste management techniques. When it comes to plastic waste management, unfortunately, plastic labelling is often unclear. This point is illustrated by how consumers expect packaging to have an active sustainability component, such as being recyclable, compostable or even made with already recycled materials or made from renewable sources. In the same way, people’s concern claims towards less plastic used as well as lower environmental impacts. In fact, consumers are often unsure of how and what to recycle, resulting in apathy and frustration.

Although sustainability is the goal, eliminating plastic packaging is quite complicated. The reasons that explain this statement are related with the material itself. This means that durability makes plastic ideal for packaging and at the same time, effectively non-biodegradable.

Plastics comprise a vast set of high performance, versatile materials., providing tangible values to consumers:

  • Value
  • Versatility
  • Safety & protection
  • Adaptability
  • Substitutability

For these reasons, plastic packaging plays an indispensable role within food and healthcare industry among other sectors.

The lack of control that has led to the massive use of plastic has led many international environmental organizations to demand a legal framework in this regard. An example of this is the ban on single-use plastics or encouraging companies to promote the manufacture and use of plastics with a high percentage of recycled raw materials. Without forgetting that the brands take responsibility for their containers, packaging and packaging.

Plastic companies will need to continue making major modifications to their products by investing in Research & Development & Innovation (R&D&i) programs across technology manufacturing as well as integrating within their Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) performance all their stakeholder concerns.

In these terms, sustainability will also likely factor into future merge and acquisition (M&A) decisions and drive-up multiples for targets that have made appropriate investments.

It is also necessary to take into account when opting for this type of (sustainable) process that the economic factor, this must have a competitive price with respect to traditional single-use packaging options.

Last but not least, one significant opportunity is to encourage consumers to route problem materials into the proper streams, thus preventing improper diversion, discarding recyclable materials such as cans in the rubbish bin, textile and yard waste.

Find out how ALLCOT Group can help you with your sustainability and waste control strategies.

plastic bottles

Plastic Waste to Build Better Lives.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a crisis in all fronts of our lives and global waste has been affected by it. An increase of plastic packaging from medical products used during the health crisis and the rise of buying online products due to lockdowns, along with concerns with the virus, has made people use single-use plastic. This has caused a surge of plastic waste that requires special attention.

Plastic waste management is one of the major environmental concerns and a huge challenge for both individuals recycling and the waste management industry, given its exponentially increase in the last decades. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the world generates approximately 400 million tons per year, only an estimated 12% of the plastics produced are incinerated and an estimated 9% are recycled. However, great part of plastic waste is not biodegradable, so it is disposed either in landfills or released in the environment including the oceans. UNEP states that without meaningful action, plastic waste in aquatic ecosystems is expected to rise up to 29 million tons in 2040. 

Now that we know that a large amount of plastic waste is covering our planet, the questions are: Which are the impacts of plastic pollution in the environment? What can we do to contribute to plastic waste management? What are the benefits of plastic waste management solutions?

Plastic pollution has negative impacts in the environment for different reasons:

  • Large plastic items can cause entanglement of animals.
  • Plastic debris can provoke entanglement of aquatic species, leading to starvation, suffocation, laceration, infection and reduce their reproduction.
  • Microplastics can be confused as plankton, therefore eaten by marine species.

In addition, 4% of petrol and gas extracted are used as raw material for virgin plastic production, and between 3 and 4% to generate energy for its manufacture.

ALLCOT offers an innovative and comprehensive solution that promotes the 3R principle: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle of plastic waste through sustainable construction and creating formal jobs. This initiative is an alternative solution to manufacture plastic waste bricks to construct houses and involve informal collectors that suffer from the hardships of informal work and discrimination. The project pretends to create formal jobs for informal collectors with the collaboration of NGOs, so that they can work with formal recycling companies that provide raw materials and PET pellets. After collecting the plastic, formalized collectors manufacture plastic bricks and use them to build houses for low income communities. ALLCOT provides the technology to create plastic bricks directly on site, which promotes the capacity building of local communities and the importance of plastic waste management. With this technology, plastic waste can be reshaped into a new product.

Houses made out of plastic bricks improve their adaptation to climate change, as they reduce plastic pollution and provide a better shelter to climate change impacts (heat waves, flooding, etc.), with further benefits to communities. 

This comprehensive solution has multiple benefits in different areas:

  • Environmental: Manufacturing plastic blocks thorough this technology prevents 22 lbs. (10 kg) from being dispose in landfilled or incinerated. It also meets different standard criteria regarding safety and toxicity, such as Greenguard and Greenguard Gold. Furthermore, it does not need additional glues or additives, and avoids greenhouse gas emissions and material depletion from manufacturing of clay bricks.
  • Social: Plastic bricks manufacturing generate formal jobs in local communities under poverty and social exclusion conditions, by involving informal plastic collectors in the initiative from the beginning.
  • Economic: A surplus of plastic bricks manufactured during the project could be sell to construction companies and workers, and the profits would go to formalized collectors.

At the same time, the economic conditions of collectors are being improved under a fair salary due to the project.

This initiative not only contributes to plastic waste management, but to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SGD):

SDG1 SDG8 SDG 9 SDG 10 SDG11

SDG12 SDG13 SDG14 SDG15


Plastic-Waste

#COP26 and common citizens

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In the last month, #COP26 was in the spotlight. All from our homes saw how presidents, parliamentarians, businessmen, and great leaders met at this conference. Certainly, you have heard about a goal to reduce emissions of 22 Giga tons of CO2e by 2030 and probably you wonder: does the climate emergency only concern certain types of personalities and groups? Well, the answer is no, climate change is everyone’s business.

In fact, even though you think that you have nothing to do with big events like COP, you are wrong: you choose who will represent your country. For this reason, to VOTE is of great value, choosing your leaders well and choose people who give the necessary importance to climate crisis matters and who will support public policies, which are aligned to low-carbon policies and more sustainable economies.

Education is a fundamental point. Sharing the message, allowing people to be aware of the importance of Climate Change, raising awareness, sensitizing communities, educating on mitigation actions, adaptation, and the consequences that climate change will bring is necessary for all of us to start giving it the importance to the crisis.

Small changes in our routine are also necessary, you don’t have to buy an electric car or stop consuming meat from one moment to another; but taking your bicycle once a week, walking, using your own bottle to drink water, taking your reusable bag to the market, practicing “meatless day” once a week or measuring your electricity and water consumption can have a great impact. This way your contribution together with others who are thinking alike about how to have a positive impact, could make a huge change. Gold Standard has made a calculation for the ‘Climate Positive’ initiative and concludes that if one billion people around the world join for this noble cause, we could be reducing our emissions up to 13.4 GtCO2 per year.

Here are some practical examples that are easy to implement in your daily routine:

  1. If you ride your bike to work instead of driving to work, you could be giving up about 191 gCO2e emissions for every kilometer you ride.
  2. If instead of drinking water in single-use plastic bottles you drink water in your own bottle, you would be saving approximately 160 gCO2e per 500 ml bottle.
  3. If you take your own shopping bag with you, you would be avoiding the emission of 10 gCO2e per plastic bag you avoid receiving.
  4. If you stop consuming a 100 g portion of meat, you are avoiding the emission of approximately 10 kg of CO2e. 
  5. An LED bulb can generate electricity savings of 50 to 80% compared to an incandescent bulb. This means a reduction of 410 kgCO2e per year if you replace just one incandescent bulb with an LED bulb in your home. 

ALLCOT offers customized solutions to reduce the environmental impact and align with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. If you want to know more about our services at ALLCOT, contact us:

Susana Marín-Valencia.

sm@allcot.com

+57 310 2309610

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Time to deliver

Time to deliver

COP26 marks the fifth anniversary since COP21 (Paris Agreement). This marks an important event, as the agreement states that every five years countries must review their pledges and increase their ambitions, if possible. All Parties to the Paris Agreement must submit updated pledges, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which set more stringent emission reduction targets for 2030. The focus of the strategy will be on Nature Based Solutions (NBS) and the net zero strategy, which must be achieved by 2050 by the parties.

Another issue addressed at this COP26 will be to agree on Article 6 of the Paris Regulation, to finalize the “Rule Book”. It will mainly be about identifying, among others, the approval of rules that avoid double counting under Art. 6.4, the cancellation of carbon credits and the use of pre-2020 CDM carbon credits to meet the NDCs.

Financial issues will also be addressed. For example, at COP16 Parties agreed that developed countries will mobilize $100 billion by 2020 to meet the needs of developing countries. And financial responses for vulnerable countries in case of loss and damage caused by climate change will be discussed.

For this COP, five priority areas for action have been outlined:

– Adaptation and Resilience: which seeks to implement initiatives and measures that reduce the vulnerability of nature to climate change. Countries should implement short- and long-term preventive measures and practices to avoid environmental damage. Resilience refers to the capacity of countries to implement these initiatives and measures without significantly altering their structural and functional characteristics.

– Nature: Implement initiatives that preserve the environment and ecosystems with the help of Nature Based Solutions and by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

– Energy transition: Leverage natural resources and renewable energies and reduce the use of fossil fuels.

– Accelerate the shift to zero-carbon road transport: i.e. increase and promote policies that benefit electric cars. It is expected that by 2040, 50% of cars sold worldwide will be electric.

– Finance: This point refers mainly to establishing financial resources to help implement initiatives and measures that reduce the impact on the environment and establish the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

For more information about ALLCOT’s presence at COP26, please contact us at the following email: cop26@allcot.com.

Time to deliver

The race we all take part in


Written by Vanessa Friese, Group BD Marketing Specialist.


The future in the sports industry is being dictated by a focus on ESG –environmental, social and governance issues. The Tokyo 2021 Olympics represent a key example of this transition. The Olympic Games are historically one of the largest fossil fuels emitting sports events. This is mainly due to the sheer number of people that participate and attend. To reduce the carbon footprint of the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, several initiatives have been put into place. These include a carbon offset program, electric vehicles, the use of recycled materials, etc.

Also the UNFCCC has a strong focus on sports and sustainability and has developed a “Sports for Climate Action”, which works towards two overarching goals:

1. Achieving a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change, through commitments and partnerships according to verified standards

2. Using sports as a unifying tool to federate and create solidarity among global citizens for climate action.

The UN Sports for Climate Action signatories have established climate action in the agenda of the sports industry with commitments to reduce GHG emissions, to achieve net zero and  advocating for 1.5°C ambition.

All sports are invited to adopt the following targets:

  • Reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 at the latest. One long-term target to reach net zero GHG emissions by 2040
  • Targets should be inclusive of scopes 1, 2 and 3
  • Process of Commit, Plan, Proceed and Report will enter into force effective December 2021.

Transportation accounts for 21% of global carbon emissions. Motor racing coming from a sport based on combustion engine cars, is thus a big deal.

Mahindra Racing is the first Formula E team, and the first FIA World Championship participant, to be certified Net Zero Carbon footprint since inception in November 2020 by ALLCOT Group. Mahindra Racing is not only committed to expanding the limits of technology and innovation on the racetrack, but also to be a pioneer in climate change and sustainability. Therefore, ALLCOT Group is proud to announce that this year we will work again together with Mahindra Racing on an ESG-strategy implementation, which will be extending the current Net Zero Carbon footprint to a complete SDG Sustainability Roadmap.

COP26: What to Expect


Written by Arturo Vallejo Abdala, Group Head of Policy, ALLCOT


Moving forward to action regarding the fight against climate change is critical for Humanity and Planet Earth. COP 26 is a unique platform for this as it gathers governments and stakeholders from public and private sectors with the same main goal of keeping global temperature under 2 ° C and ideally on 1,5 ° C. Countries have to think as one and come up with solutions that promote not only emissions reductions, but also sustainable development.

I expect important outcomes of COP 26 on the following topics:

          Ambition in NDCs.

          Implementation of NDCs.

          Transparency and the Enhanced Transparency Framework.

          Finance for Mitigation and Adaptation actions, and for developing countries.

          Rulebook for operationalizing Article 6.

          Adaptation.

          Carbon markets, and fair and equitable carbon pricing.

          Private sector participation and contribution.

From a personal point of view, I hope to contribute to the enhancement of carbon markets within Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the positioning of the private sector as a key stakeholder in the fight against climate change, as well as to work towards the establishment and strengthening of South-South alliances.

Finally, I remain positive about the success of COP 26 in Glasgow thanks to the commitments of governments and the private sector.

If you want to know more about ALLCOT´s participation at COP 26, please right to cop26@allcot.com.

 

 

Green is the new black

Sustainability in the textile and fashion sector has been improving its sustainability performance for years. But the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for companies to be more aware of their environmental and social impact and to start taking effective measures to reduce the impact of the industry on the environment. 

But this trend is not only visible in fashion brands but also in the consumer. More aware of the negative impact that the fashion industry can have on the environment, they are looking for more transparency in the sourcing, costs and materials used in the manufacturing of the products they buy. Thus, the 3Rs (Recycle, Reduce, Reuse) approach in companies will become part of the sales strategy and brand DNA for different companies.

It has therefore become essential to know the providence of the materials used, the impact of the value chain on the environment, as well as the impact of direct consumers and intermediary parties. 

To address the impact on the environment, the EU wants to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy. In February 2021, the Parliament voted on the circular economy action plan and called for additional measures to move towards a carbon neutral, sustainable, toxics-free and fully circular economy by 2050. These should include stricter laws on recycling and binding targets for 2030 to reduce the ecological footprint of material use and consumption.

The textile industry is one of the biggest culprits in global water waste, according to studies by the European Union and the United Nations (UN). The production of fabrics for clothing causes 20% of the world’s drinking water pollution.

Something that has become very common and has negatively impacted the image of the fashion sector is greenwashing, which refers to the communication and marketing strategies that companies use to simulate or account for certain sustainable practices they carry out, but which in fact have no basis. This seeks to generate a positive brand image that satisfies the superficial needs of the consumer, eager to generate habits that are sustainable and environmentally friendly, using resources that simulate an action and stance on the issue.

The fashion industry produces between 4 and 5 billion tons of CO₂ annually. It is estimated that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions – more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. In addition, Clothing manufacturing creates over half a million tons of microfiber pollution that ends in the ocean. Half a million tons of microfiber are the equivalent to 50 billion plastic bottles, each year.

Sustainability Roadmap

ALLCOT offers customized solutions to reduce environmental impact and align with the objectives of the Paris Agreements and the sustainable development goals. We make a study and evaluation of consumption and impacts with key indicators that we will define together the expectation of the client. In the next step, we carry out an ESG performance analysis of the company’s impact on the environment, on society and governance. With this information, ALLCOT makes a diagnosis and an action plan to meet the client’s objectives and expectations. 

If you would like to know more about our services in ALLCOT, please contact:

Vanessa Friese González
vf@allcot.com
+57 (311) 2658220

Connecting for social development


Written by Asier Aramburu Climate Change RENEN Manager,.


It is estimated that approximately one billion people around the world do not have access to electricity. This fact slows down their socioeconomic development since it affects both their potential economic growth and key aspects of well-being such as health, nutrition and education.

In recent years, the countries of Central and South America have achieved high levels of electrification, but this evolution has moderated when they have reached to 90% -95% electrification. This is due to the fact that the remaining areas are difficult to access or they face some social or security difficulty. In the case of Colombia, these areas are concentrated in the so-called ZNIs.

The Non-Interconnected Zones (ZNI, acronym in Spanish) are formed by the Colombian territory that is not connected to the Central Interconnected System (SIN, acronym in Spanish). According to the latest data provided by the Superintendency of Home Public Services, it includes 52% of the country’s territory, with an estimated population of 1,900,000 inhabitants. Colombians living in these areas do not have public electricity service through the national grid and, therefore, depend on local generation solutions. These solutions are based mostly on diesel generators (96% of the total). The use of this fuel not only implies a considerable environmental impact, but also causes significant diseconomies of scale since 80% of the capacity is concentrated in plants with a capacity lower than 100 kW. Moreover, they have to deal with the high cost of the diesel and its volatility.

However, the electrification of these areas has been limited by geographical obstacles and conflicts in some regions, as well as the following barriers:

  • The population density is extremely low (an average of 3 inhabitants/km2), which makes the logistics of service attention difficult (high investment and operating costs per user).
  • Poor logistics and transportation infrastructure, and in some places non-existent.
  • Low level of average consumption.
  • Low payment capacity by users and therefore low level of collection of the companies’ portfolio.
  • High levels of losses.

Therefore, a vicious circle that has not yet been broken is created. Getting out of this circle is even more important for Colombia if it is considering that the ZNIs concentrate most of the territory that has suffered most of the violence. Thus, ensuring their access to electricity is a necessary step to allow their development and advance in the resolution of the conflict.

As stated before, the traditional method of promoting electrification, the expansion of the national grid, has proven insufficient to achieve 100% of national coverage. For this reason, distributed generation has become the most suitable solution for the electrification of these areas. Although the electricity supplied with minigrids under normal conditions has a cost substantially higher than the average cost of the interconnected system, minigrids are competitive in those locations where extending the main network is even more expensive. In addition, in order to complete the cost-benefit analyses, the social cost of not having a basic minimum supply of electricity and the lack of reliability in the supply should be included as externalities. By including these costs, these projects would be more feasible and the considerable social benefit would be measured in economic terms. In contrary, not including them will lead to a minimum cost solution: not to incur in any cost, that is, not to electrify the area.

Furthermore, based on this alternative, the non-interconnected areas of Colombia have enormous potential to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy. And it is that, although Colombia is experiencing an accelerated expansion of its generation capacity from non-conventional renewable energies, most of these projects are focused on supplying energy to the SIN.

As previously stated, developers (both private and public) must overcome numerous difficulties to implement generation projects in the ZNIs. These regions are supplied by independent operators that do not have enough volume to launch massive electrification projects. Furthermore, the have serious difficulties in accessing financial markets due to limitations in the payment capacity of their users. Thus, these projects are generally not attractive projects for private investors and additional resources are required. The carbon market is one important source of income that can support these projects development.

ALLCOT has led the validation of the Inírida Solar Farm project (Inírida, Guainía), the largest solar project developed in the ZNI (2.5 MW). This project represents a fundamental milestone for these regions and offers a referent that can be replicated to allow the transition of these networks to renewable energies.

The Inírida Solar Farm project consists of a photovoltaic solar plant that covers around 22% of the municipality’s energy demand and allows an annual reduction in emissions of approximately 2,800 tCO2e. This reduction is achieved thanks to the fact that this plant replaces part of the energy generated by the diesel fuel plant that fed the entire local distribution network of Inírida. Now, this network will benefit from a hybrid generation system (solar + diesel), in such a way that the reliability of the system will be ensured due to the diesel generation when is needed.

The electrification of the ZNI through mini-grids powered by renewable energies will be key in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 and for universal access to energy in Colombia. Thanks to this important milestone, a gap that slows down the improvement in the quality of life of almost two million people will be closer to be overcome. We invite you to consult more information about the project at the following link.

Systemic Risk


Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor.


The World Economic Forum (WEF) released its 2021 Global Risk Report last week. Climate and environmental risk were ranked at top in its tables in terms of likelihood and second, after Infectious diseases, in terms of impact. It is highly likely that a standard will be set for countries and companies where climate impacts will be perceived as riskier than economic, geopolitical and technological ones.

Climate change impacts capital markets through two types of risk. The first one is Physical Risk which results from damages to property, infrastructure and land. The other one is Transitional Risk which is associated with changes in regulations, technology and consumer/investor preferences towards low carbon economic growth. Risk exposure varies from one country to another depending on geographical, physical and economic conditions. Mexico is a highly vulnerable country, with a high physical risk profile, due to its geographical location between two oceans, complex topography and irregular human settlements.

In 2020, global greenhouse gas went down 7% due to mobility restrictions from the Pandemic. However, temperature records were broken once again with a cumulative increase of 1.25 °C with respect to industrial levels. To avoid catastrophic impacts, scientists recommend global temperature increase to stabilize at 1.5 °C by the end of the century, leaving a very limited space for maneuvering.

At higher temperatures, climate impacts and associated physical risks exacerbate. According to Swiss Re, 2020 was the fifth costliest year for insurance companies in 40 years, with $83 billion dollars in losses. Cyclone Amphan displaced 4.9 million people in India and costed $13 billion dollars in losses, while hurricanes in the United States and Central America displaced 200 thousand people and costed $40 billion dollars. For financial institutions, physical risk materializes through exposure to companies, buildings and countries which are impacted by climate change.  Insurance companies face losses and increase their sure primes, banks face loan defaults and assets in impacted zones tend to depreciate.

Transition risk has been increasing because more countries have committed to “net zero” targets and more consumers and investors demand companies to act responsibly. In his first day in office, Joe Bide signed executive orders to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and revert Trump´s Administration initiatives that lowered standards on environment and climate change issues, while Janet Yellen promised to strengthen climate risk policies in the financial sector. Biden´s Administration will invest $2 trillion dollars to finance the transition towards low carbon growth and will sanction with trade tariffs polluting countries.

Climate risk is transforming capital markets. It is now riskier for banks and investment funds to finance oil and gas projects than clean energy ones, because the latter are more cost effective and better accepted by society. In 2021, global investment in clean energy will overtake investment in fossil fuels. Last week, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the largest asset management company in the world, sent its yearly letter to CEOs reaffirming its commitment with decarbonizing its assets.  Other financial industries, central banks and regulators around the world are following through.

Mexico´s prime trade and investment partner is committing to a low carbon future while the financial industry is embracing and unprecedented transformation. Oil and gas companies are reinventing its strategies and citizens demand greater responsibility from governments and corporations. Mexico is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts.

What will its strategy be to manage risk and capitalize the transition?

Article originally published in Reforma news paper.

The role of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the new generation of comprehensive corporate reporting


Written by  Andrés Melendro, Sustainability Manager.


The private sector’s progressive adoption of the SDGs

Ever since Agenda 2030 was released in 2015, the UN Global Compact and more recently UNDP through its SDG Impact initiative have been eager to find ways to embed the SDGs in the DNA of the private sector’s sustainability disclosure. In fact, reaching such ambitious and transversal goals requires private commitment reflected by companies’ consistent actions to progress against the SDGs.

As a result, sustainability standard-setters, which aim at harmonizing the way companies disclose their impacts -positive or negative- on people, the planet and prosperity have naturally taken up the challenge of including the “SDG language” in their requirements.

Tearing down the Berlin wall between financial and sustainability reporting

In parallel, as sustainability gains recognition as a key set of variables directly impacting market risk and business valuation, financial standard-setters like the IFRS Foundation have also been trying to connect the dots by integrating sustainability into their reports.

These two major evolutions of corporate reporting are highly visible in the recent “Statement of Intent to Work Together Towards Comprehensive Corporate Reporting” written by the main sustainability standard-setters and framework creators (CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC and SASB). This declaration is a major landmark in the 30-year long history of sustainability reporting. As corporate (financial and sustainability) standard-setters reinvent their frameworks to make them compatible or even to unify them and put an end to the “alphabet soup of metrics”, referring to the multiplicity of standards and the complexity of navigating them all. ALLCOT strongly supports this initiative and argues that this is the right timing to fully articulate corporate reporting with the SDGs.

Comprehensive corporate reporting should erase the conceptual wall lying between sustainability and financial reporting, but also make sure transparent disclosure of present impacts is complemented by ambitious goal-setting.

The rationale for embedding the SDGs in comprehensive reporting

Sustainability disclosure standards are meant to gather precise, consistent and comparable company-reported information which shareholders and stakeholders, such as clients, potential employees or investors can use to make decisions about the company.

In the current trend towards ESG (environment, society and governance) standards and metrics consolidation, it can seem paradoxical to advocate for the inclusion of an additional framework, the SDGs. In fact, the SDGs are not completely equivalent to other sustainability or ESG frameworks. First, besides metrics SDGs are a call to action, to track progress toward common and absolute goals, beyond just making public information about current performance. Second, the SDGs enable companies to better account for their dependency on people and planet by focusing on external stakeholders. That dependency must also be linked to financial information.

From market-based to planet-based benchmarks

Sustainability ratings systems and rankings, such as the CDP, classify companies by comparing them to their peers. These benchmarks are useful, yet they lack an absolute view of what must be achieved to achieve sustainable development. In the SDG logic, ambition must be absolute rather than relative to current company and industry performance. Initiatives such as  Science-based targets and Future-fit business are aligned with the view that systemic conditions should define the thresholds within which society and business must operate to maintain a planetary balance.

ALLCOT’s SDG services aim at shifting business practice from just quoting a general qualitative alignment with SDGs or using the SDGs to report current activities differently, by translating sustainability information to the “SDG language”, towards using them to set ambitious goals. This way sustainability can be embedded into decision making, as advocated by the SDG Impact Standards and certified by their SDG Impact Seal. The time has come for the new generation of comprehensive corporate reporting that recognizes that no enterprise can create value in the 21st century if it ignores the wellbeing of the social and natural systems upon which it relies.