ALLCOT has been accredited by ICROA, the most important leading voice in the voluntary carbon market.
In the annual independent audit to assure compliance to the ICROA (International Carbon Reduction & Offset Alliance) Code of Best Practice, ALLCOT has been accredited, during the 2021 compliance period, for its commitment to fight climate change across the voluntary carbon market.
ICROA is a non-profit membership organization housed within the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). Through time, ICROA has become one of the most important leading voices worldwide in the promotion of sustainable voluntary high-quality carbon credits.
The importance of the ICROA accreditation programme relies on the achievement of smart goal criteria related to carbon markets, which are an important mechanism to help accelerate the transition towards decarbonisation by 2050. Members of this organization advocate rigorous standards and innovative methodologies for the implementation of voluntary carbon markets. By doing this, they align to a strict code of best practices and criteria that assure the emission reductions are real, measurable and verifiable.
ALLCOT, for its part, with this important accreditation by ICROA, will continue providing strategic and innovative solutions to lead environmental projects and help other companies to achieve their climate goals. But most importantly, it will put their efforts into actively combating the climate crisis under the Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
New Study Shows Produce Growers’ Carbon-Smart Practices Hold Great Potential for A More Profitable and Sustainable Agricultural Sector
LOS ANGELES – July 19, 2022 – ProducePay has partnered with ALLCOT to create a carbon offset program developed specifically for growers of primary crops. ProducePay’s new program is a first-of-its-kind program tailored for produce growers, who until now have not had the tools to participate in the growing voluntary carbon market – which is estimated to reach $50 billion by 2030. The carbon offset program is the first component of ProducePay’s groundbreaking Sustainably Sourced™ initiative which, when launched later this year, will be the first ever worldwide sustainable produce supply chain standard created to establish an efficient, profitable, responsible and sustainable fresh produce ecosystem.
A recent feasibility study ProducePay conducted in consultation with ALLCOT to assess the carbon market potential of five produce growers revealed that each grower was well poised to be a future participant in the global carbon market. While voluntary carbon markets have been created for the forestry sector and large securitized crops like wheat and soy in the U.S., until now there has never been an understanding of the potential role of the $1.3 trillion global produce sector in helping to limit global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The study, which examined farms in the U.S. and Mexico growing asparagus, grapes and strawberries, saw that the growers were already performing many of the sustainable agricultural practices needed for decarbonization and ultimately selling verifiable carbon credits in the international market.
“Too often produce growers are left behind when it comes to the innovation and modernization of the agricultural industry,” said Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck, CEO and founder of ProducePay. “These growers are sitting on a lucrative opportunity to make thousands, if not millions, of dollars in residual income that will not only help the world mitigate climate change but also create a more resilient future for them—as these growers are often the most impacted by climate change. We want to empower produce farmers to be on the frontlines of carbon markets, not on the sidelines.”
Recognized as a world-leader in carbon offsetting and sustainability initiatives, ALLCOT has provided ProducePay with recommendations for helping its small-to-medium growers develop a roadmap for adopting additional infrastructure and carbon-smart practices, such as pressurized irrigation systems, alternative farming inputs and implementing water desalination technology, to become fully compliant with carbon market practices. ProducePay expects its carbon offset program to be a new service offered to growers in its marketplace later this year. ALLCOT has also ensured that ProducePay’s carbon offset program will meet the rigorous international standards of their carbon verification.
“It’s been an honor to join ProducePay in this transformational initiative for the agricultural sector. We are excited to lend our expertise and rigor in the climate markets space to establish ProducePay’s carbon offset program,” said Natalia Rodrigo Vega, Chief Business Development from ALLCOT. “Our efforts will equip growers to harness the power of carbon-smart practices to build their businesses, protect the environment and provide community benefits.”
Despite international efforts to reduce GHG emissions, they have more than doubled since the UN Climate Change Convention in 1994. This increase has raised the stakes and given urgency to ProducePay’s feasibility study, which was funded by IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the IDB Group. This funding supports ProducePay’s work to develop and implement internal strategies aligned with the objectives of sustainable development and environmental and social best practices at the international level.
ProducePay’s Sustainably Sourced™ initiative – beginning with the carbon offset program – will be a vital contribution to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By helping global growers access tangible economic benefits, ProducePay remains committed to creating sustainability for the produce industry as well as sustainable outcomes for the environment. The carbon offset program will be a vital contribution to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Founded by Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck, a fourth-generation farmer, ProducePay is transforming the fragmented produce industry into a more connected and sustainable movement. ProducePay gives farmers unprecedented access to the market, financial solutions, and trade protection they need. Buyers and consumers receive fresher produce more efficiently, knowing it is grown and delivered in responsible ways. This simplified and empowering approach is helping to eliminate over 50% of economic and food waste, while creating value for everyone involved. To learn more about ProducePay, please visit https://producepay.com/.
Since 2009, ALLCOT provides innovative solutions to combat climate change and promote sustainability through project development, carbon markets and advisory services. ALLCOT’s vision is to lead and accelerate the global transition towards a climate neutral society by 2050. ALLCOT’s unique approach is based on using Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, its linkage to the SDGs, non-market approaches and other market mechanisms
Natalia Rodrigo highlights, in El Mundo and Expansión, ALLCOT’s commitment to bring sustainability closer to SMEs
Currently, more and more companies require additional support to design, implement and report their sustainability and climate change strategy. The article published by El Mundo and Expansión in their special Environment section talks about these new regulations on non-financial reporting. Also, these two renowned Spanish media were able to interview Natalia Rodrigo Vega, Chief Business Development Officer at ALLCOT. In the interview, Natalia points out a growing need for some small and medium-sized companies to direct their activity towards sustainability, despite the numerous complications they may encounter at the beginning.
Among these difficulties is the fact that, first, not all of these companies have the necessary knowledge regarding the design of programs to combat climate emergencies, nor the procedures to be carried out. In that sense, Natalia states that one of the main challenges ALLCOT faces when working with these small companies is precisely the fact of “correctly organizing the input data”, tasks that “although they may seem simple, are the most complex for SMEs”.
On the other hand, Natalia points out that some of these companies, “do not have the capacity to afford a sustainability team”, even when they must comply with the commitment to report information on their performance on environmental issues, among many others. In this scenario, ALLCOT acts as their ally in sustainability, in the long term, adapting to real needs and budgetary capabilities, designing a simple, yet challenging, credible, measurable and permanent roadmap with impact over time. In short, at ALLCOT “we seek to remain competitive in order to reap the rewards in the future,” Natalia emphasizes.
With more than 10 years of experience in sustainability and climate change, ALLCOT continues to direct its efforts towards decarbonization and energy transition, providing support and offering strategic solutions for all those who wish to commit to sustainability, reaffirming its commitment to the environment and its desire to combat climate change.
Mahindra Racing, together with ALLCOT Group, has positioned itself as one of the most sustainable motorsport
Mahindra Racing, the first Formula E team to be certified Net Zero Carbon Footprint from inception by ALLCOT Group, keeps the leadership on sustainability to retain the title of Greenest Team in Motorsports.
For Season 7 of the FIA Formula E World Championship, Mahindra Racing compensated its carbon footprint by contributing to the Renewable Energy Program in Karnataka, India supplied by ALLCOT Group. The program is designed to help increase the power supply through wind generation and helps improve the grid infrastructure.
Focused on its pledge to greater ROCE – Return On Climate and Environment – Mahindra Racing team speeds things up and commits to the ambitious targets set by the United Nation Sports for Climate Action.
With a mid-term target to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 – based on its 2019 baseline – ALLCOT Group is looking forward to support Mahindra Racing’s efforts in their implementation of effective emission reduction strategies.
ALLCOT Group will provide Mahindra Racing team with energy efficiency and waste reduction solutions, as well as access to impactful programs selection to offset their remaining greenhouse gas emissions.
ALLCOT Group stands out in the renowned digital media El Español ENCLAVE ODS, as a great ally in the smart implementation of programs aimed at helping companies interested in offsetting their CO₂ footprint. Natalia Rodrigo, Business Chief Business Development Officer, represented ALLCOT and shared her knowledge and extensive experience in offset markets.
The rise of the offset market represents a great challenge for companies that have ventured into sustainable decisions. However, Natalia, in this medium, explains that there are ways to offset the carbon footprint. That is, from “reforestation, preservation of the Amazon in Colombia, reforestation of mangroves in Mexico, or creation of wind farms in Chile”.
The creation of projects aimed at decarbonization by means of compensation, through the conservation of polluted and degraded areas, play an important role in the mitigation of carbon emissions and conservation of life in all its forms.
ALLCOT has put all its efforts to protect our planet and help more companies become interested in measuring their carbon footprint and at the same time, implement action towards decarbonization. It is through innovative strategies that we will be able to achieve the objectives of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
You can learn more about this news here.
In recent years, all major companies have turned their efforts towards digital transformation and sustainability. No longer an option, the company that does not embrace these two issues will not survive for many years to come. However, for the small and medium-sized business segment, it seems that the road to sustainability is getting a bit uphill. Why? Let’s look at an example!
Marta Garcia started a small espadrille business more than a decade ago. In the early years, the company made small productions of footwear and had a staff of 4 employees. The business was growing slowly, but in 2017 it hit a spurt because her espadrilles appeared on the Instagram account of a famous influencer. Since then, its turnover has increased exponentially, and it now has more than 40 employees and different workshops throughout Spain.
Marta is aware that her business already has a very large volume of activity and would like to do her bit to offset the impact it has on the environment around her. She keeps hearing about sustainability and new laws that could affect her business in this regard, so she decides to do some research on the internet. During her search, she discovers many terms she didn’t know: ESG, GRI, carbon footprint, European taxonomy, Statement of non-financial information… Marta feels overwhelmed, she doesn’t know where to start!
Today, there are many SMEs in our country that are in Marta’s situation. They don’t know how to create and implement a sustainability plan or how to report their non-financial information (they are not even aware of whether they are required to do so or not).
But don’t worry, if you have an SME and don’t know how to deal with this issue, Sygris and ALLCOT Group have hit the bull’s eye on these problems through their recent alliance.
When it comes to sustainability reporting, SMEs face two major challenges: the lack of standardization and the difficulty of collecting all the necessary information. This information must be grouped in line with a clear taxonomy and interpreted according to its impact, in order to establish improvement commitments at a holistic level, with credibility and transparency towards all stakeholders in the short, medium and long term.
In this regard, Ana Palao, Client Experience Director at Sygris and expert in Sustainability, stresses that “it is essential that SMEs overcome both challenges and begin to report and reverse their impact on the environment around them, as they represent more than 96% of the productive fabric of our country”.
Words with which Natalia Rodrigo, Group Chief Business Development Officer of ALLCOT Group, agrees and adds: “Being able to organize, analyze and interpret data efficiently is the guarantee of success towards a transparent and direct reporting, ensuring the integrity of the organization and added value”.
A value-added partnership
Sygris is a leader in the collection, analysis and management of the data required for sustainability reporting. It is a Development Platform that enables Advanced Information Processing and the automation of Internal Processes in a SaaS Cloud environment. Designed under the Low Code paradigm, Sygris allows the dynamic, intuitive, easy to learn and functional development of innovative digital solutions. The catalog of solutions covers a very broad spectrum, but it is in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability where Sygris has been the leading product of the sector in our country for more than a decade, above the rest of the international competitors.
ALLCOT Group is an international consulting firm that works as a strategic and integral ally, committed to long-term relationships. Hand in hand with its clients, ALLCOT Group helps to understand and interpret their environmental impact; articulating a roadmap for improvement based on sustainability performance analysis, sector and regional benchmarking and defining how impact reduction measures should be established, including mitigation, adaptation and offsetting of emissions through the acquisition of triple impact credits (ESG).
Undoubtedly, the ALLCOT Group– Sygris alliance will mark a differentiating milestone for companies looking for added value in their allies and an effective and comprehensive solution to their sustainability challenges, beyond reporting, towards a reality.
TAXI CLASS has carried out its carbon footprint through which they identify and analyze their environmental and social impact with the help of ALLCOT, their partner in this framework.
TAXI CLASS has begun its long-term environmental strategy, a fundamental step for the Barcelona-based mobility company, focused on a sustainable and carbon neutral business model in line with current market trends and the preferences of consumers in the city’s premium segments.
ALLCOT will help them define concrete actions to make their business sustainable, promoting the reasonable use of natural resources and their consumption.
Transportation and the environment
Greenhouse gas emissions have increased at present due to the current dependence of vehicles on petroleum-derived fuels, compared to the use of other resources such as natural gas or electricity.
Demand for transportation continues to grow, generally faster than the economy. Transportation has facilitated urban development, but as urban development has grown, so has its impact on the environment. This urban expansion began with the popularization of private vehicle use, which led to faster travel, as well as the development of transport based on the construction of road infrastructures that allowed the use of private vehicles and with-it new modes of mass transport such as railroads and streetcars.
Urban centers, despite occupying a small part of the territory, consume more than 75% of energy and generate 80% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Furthermore, despite contributing to urban sprawl, transport has promoted uncontrolled urban sprawl, leading to the fragmentation of habitats and the sealing of surfaces.
Transport in Spain is responsible for approximately 28.1% of total greenhouse gas emissions, comparable to other European countries. The negative impact of transport on the environment is mainly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and air and noise pollution on a global and regional scale.
Despite the considerable reduction in emissions over the last decade, a significant number of premature deaths per year (approx. 400,000) are due to air pollution. Vehicle exhaust fumes (nitrogen oxides, particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, among others), promote air pollution. These react in the atmosphere to generate gases that are harmful to health. Therefore, exposure to these pollutants can affect health in a very concrete way, especially the organs of the nervous system or respiratory system, causing heart attacks, asthma, fatigue, dizziness and even anxiety.
In addition to air pollution, transportation also contributes to noise pollution, which causes adverse health effects such as sleep disturbance, increased blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, if exposure to noise has been for a prolonged period.
Thanks to the progress of technology, nowadays the presence of electric vehicles has been increasing and may become the transport of the future, since many large manufacturers worldwide had begun the transition to this type of vehicle.
TAXI CLASS and the Environment
With more than 20 years of experience in the transportation sector, TAXI CLASS provides exclusive mobility services with a fleet of 175 luxury Mercedes and Tesla vehicles.
TAXI CLASS has initiated a transformation process with the aim of meeting sustainability and environmental standards, in line with European environmental requirements for the future. It is therefore working on a progressive transformation of its fleet to ECO vehicles. Until now it has been committed to a neutral policy in terms of emissions of polluting gases from its activity.
In this context and committed to the fight against climate change and the path to sustainability, TAXI CLASS is going to perform its carbon footprint through which they will be able to identify and analyze their environmental and social impact with the help of ALLCOT, their ally in this framework. ALLCOT will help TAXI CLASS define concrete actions to make their business sustainable, promoting the reasonable use of natural resources and their consumption.
By conducting their carbon footprint, TAXI CLASS will be able to identify the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its fleet of gasoline, diesel and electric vehicles. In addition, the identification of these sources will allow them to identify and/or confirm actions to be improved so that their measuring and monitoring are accurate, relevant, complete, conscientious and transparent.
The identification of its Carbon Footprint is a fundamental step for TAXI CLASS, to know its direct and indirect impact on the environment and society. This strengthens its business strategy towards a sustainable and carbon neutral business model, in line with current market trends and consumer preferences in premium segments in Barcelona, as it is of increasing concern to customers and suppliers:
- Strengthen its leadership position in the passenger transportation sector on the road to sustainability.
- Compliance with legal and future restrictions.
- Promotion of best practices in sustainability and physical and mental well-being.
- Improved positioning, competitiveness and media impact.
- Active integration of all stakeholders in decision-making processes.
Sustainability and neutrality are not intended to eliminate options from the TAXI CLASS service portfolio, but rather to integrate efficient strategies for continuity and adaptation to new market demands.
This footprint will conduct a study of scopes 1 (direct), 2 (indirect) for electricity consumption and 3 (associated with the value chain). This last value is more complex, but its calculation will provide a true picture of the risks faced by TAXI CLASS and how they can be mitigated.
As mentioned above, in addition to the environmental impact, TAXI CLASS will also measure its social impact. This impact is measurable through its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For more info contact:
TAXI CLASS Website
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:
- Safety & protection
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.
Mahindra Racing first Formula E team and FIA World Championship entrant to be certified net Zero Carbon Footprint since inception
- The most sustainable team on the grid becomes the first Formula E outfit and first FIA World Championship entrant to be certified Net Zero Carbon footprint
- Pledges to the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework
As it continues its vital sustainability work at pace, Mahindra Racing is pleased to announce that it is the first Formula E team, and first FIA World Championship entrant, to be certified Net Zero Carbon footprint since inception. The certification has been approved by the ALLCOT Group for carbon emission offsetting for the entirety of the team’s existence.
The emission allowances have been marked for permanent removal from the pool of offsetting credits at the Environmental Registry on behalf of the team’s chosen REDD+ Project.
Established in 2009, ALLCOT is a leader in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management tools and strategies for businesses of all sizes. By neutralizing GHG emissions, Mahindra Racing is not only able to protect the environment, but also provide community benefits that enhance profitability and brand value, increase employee satisfaction, to combat the climate crisis under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which is aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda, and promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The REDD+ project protects 177,899 hectares of high conservation value rainforest in the state of Pará, Brazil and will prevent net emissions of >20 million tCO2e over the project lifetime. It is a registered Code REDD+ project; is validated and verified against VCS and in 2012 attained CCBA Gold level accreditation. This project protects threatened tree species like the pau rosa (Brazilian rosewood), provides jobs in forest management and monitoring, supports education in agro-forestry techniques to enable the community to grow cash crops, protects at risk animals like the Giant Anteater, Golden Parakeet and Ka’apor Capuchin Monkey and provides secured land tenure to villages committed to conservation.
In addition to Mahindra Racing’s Net Zero Carbon benchmark, it is also pleased to announce it has pledged to the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework alongside the FIA and Formula E. This initiative aims at supporting and guiding sports actors in achieving global climate change goals.
By committing to the framework, Mahindra Racing has pledged to five key principles; to undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, to reduce overall climate impact, to educate for climate action, to promote sustainable and responsible consumption and to advocate for climate action through communication.
These new achievements add to the team’s previous sustainability endeavours including:
- Becoming the first Formula E team in history to receive Three-Star Accreditation– the highest accolade in the FIA’s framework.
- Committing to planting trees in the Araku Valley region of India thanks to its Season 6 tree planting campaign. Mahindra Racing’s efforts are in tandem with Mahindra Group’s commitment which has a commitment to plant 1 million trees every year
- Partnering with One All Sports as its team kit supplier; a natural choice due to their shared vision and dedication to the use of sustainable materials, applications and processes.
“We believe that ‘doing good’ goes beyond philanthropy and CSR, it is more than just random acts of kindness. ‘Doing good’ is a purpose, an attitude, and a way of life; it is our guide for conducting business and ourselves. As a team that is committed to finding credible, advanced and next generation mobility solutions while being kind to the planet. At Mahindra Racing, we pledge to greater ROCE, which, for us, stands for Return On Climate and Environment. This is ingrained into our ethos and a big part of the reason we are racing in Formula E. We have been on this path of reducing our impact on the planet since our birth in 2014 and six years later we are carbon neutral since inception. We are also certified with Three-Star Excellence in sustainability. To this end, our efforts are and will continue to be, in tandem with Mahindra Group’s commitment and quest to achieve group-wide carbon neutrality. We look forward to kickstarting season 7 with ROCE as our guiding principle, towards setting innovative, competitive yet sustainable mobility benchmarks for the world.”
Dilbagh Gill, CEO and Team Principal.
“It is a great achievement for Mahindra Racing to become certified net zero carbon since inception. Mahindra Racing has become a leader in sustainability across the sporting landscape and promotes sustainable business practices across their supply chain. As the first Formula E team to attain FIA Three-star Environmental Accreditation and the most recent team to sign the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework, they are the perfect partners in the fight against climate change. The first manufacturer to join the Formula E grid and now the first to commit to Gen3, we’re delighted to have a long and ongoing relationship with another organisation so aligned to our vision and values.”
Jamie Reigle, CEO, Formula E.
“We are very proud and excited to be part of the Mahindra Racing sustainability team. Mahindra’s values and beliefs echoes our own. Sustainability or good management through Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of Mahindra’s drive. It translates into these great achievements that we hope will inspire and lead to a virtuous competition among its pairs. Regardless, it sets great precedents that we aim to continue working and exceed whenever possible”.
Alexis Leroy, CEO, ALLCOT Group.
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.