Dear Fellow Supporters of Integrated Reporting,
The topics for this e-mail are: (1) the Portfolio De-carbonization Coalition, (2) an FASB proposal regarding materiality, (3) SASB’s new Implementation Guide for Companies, (4) …and (5) my Forbes.com post on Generation S.
Portfolio De-carbonization Coalition
Many of you are familiar with the Portfolio De-carbonization Coalition (PDC). At COP21 on December 9, 2016 Mats Andersson, CEO of the Swedish pension fund AP4, gave a speech on the work of the Coalition. PDC was co-founded by Amundi Asset Management, AP4, CDP, and UNEP-FI. Through its members, the PDC now has a portfolio of $600 billion in assets under management, truly a remarkable achievement given that the PDC is only about 18 months old. It is a shining example of the role institutional investors can play in addressing climate change.
The full text of Mats’ speech is available on Amanda White’s newsletter top1000funds. This newsletter is an excellent way to keep informed about important developments in the institutional investor world. You can subscribe to this free newsletter on the home page or contact Amanda (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly.
Frederic Samama, Deputy Head of Institutional & Sovereign Clients at Amundi, who has been working closely with Mats, sent me this link to a video of Mats’ speech which is well worth watching. Also, if you would like to learn more about PDC, please feel free to contact Fred (email@example.com).
On an admittedly less dramatic, but also very important topic, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has proposed some changes in its treatment of materiality intended to improve disclosure in financial statements. In fact, these changes will have the opposite effect as forcefully argued by Sanford Lewis. Writing on behalf of the Investor Environmental Health Network, Sanford submitted a letter to FASB. He elaborates on his reasoning in his piece “A Counter-Proposal to FASB: Make Materiality Transparent,” published on his Corporate Disclosure Alert blog site.
Another organization deeply focused on materiality, as you all know, is the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Earlier this month, SASB published its Implementation Guide for Companies. The Guide is a reference document for issuers who are in the process of integrating SASB standards into their existing 10-K or 20-F disclosure processes. It is available for download at Using SASB. SASB has also announced a new partnership program for consultants and other corporate advisors, called SASB Advisory Partners.
And related to SASB, here is a Q&A I did with Eben Harrell of the Harvard Business Review titled “How Accounting Can Help Build a Sustainable Economy.” In it, I reflect on the progress of SASB and the general state of information to support ESG integration into mainstream investing.
Finally, here is my most recent Forbes.com blog “Are You A Member of Generation S?” It builds on Georg Kell’s The Huffington Post blog “Together We Are Generation S,” where the idea of “Generation S” was first introduced.
Robert G. Eccles | Professor of Management Practice | Harvard Business School
Movement: Meaning, Momentum, Motives, and Materiality