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  • Fran 11:21 am on May 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    How to report on the SDGs 

    A year and a half after the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), companies are making inroads in how to manage and report on the 2030 Agenda. There’s a wide range of approaches—so what can we learn from early adopters on how to deliver and communicate effectively on the Goals?

    We’ve researched dozens of companies for best practice, and our briefing document, available here, identifies nine key approaches to SDG management and reporting. For those just starting out on the SDG journey, our tips will help you connect the dots, make a strong business case and put the right building blocks in place. For organisations already actively engaging with the SDGs, our best practice examples will inspire new ways to craft an effective and compelling SDG leadership story.

    A great example, illustrated below, shows where Maersk can deliver positive change at scale, whether impacts are direct or indirect and which negative outcomes it needs to mitigate.

    Key takeaways from our briefing include:

    Map your contribution
    Knowing how you contribute sets a baseline to measure your impact on the Goals. Start with easy wins and established material issues, but think about the big picture context too. Many SDGs require whole sector and system change that goes beyond traditional company boundaries.

    Set priorities
    Be inclusive—get stakeholders on-board in shaping strategic priorities—and dig right down to targets where you can really move the needle and drive transformational change.

    Measure & report on progress
    Tell a strategic story: develop a future value creation pipeline aligned with the SDGs. Work out which resources to leverage. Then use the Goals as a high-impact way to measure and communicate your contribution.

    We’ll be delving deeper into corporate approaches to the SDGs over the coming months. Please get in touch to be involved!

     
  • Fran 9:11 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Strong foundations for the SDGs 

    For any company to thrive in a resource-constrained world, the starting points are a robust sustainability strategy based on solid information, and leadership from the top. To build a sound foundation for its strategy, in 2016 the Carlsberg Group carried out research including a water risk assessment with WWF, a materiality matrix alongside BSR and an end-to-end carbon footprint in partnership with the Carbon Trust. These form the springboard for its refreshed sustainability strategy, with ambitious targets to be announced later in 2017.

    The Carlsberg Group wants to use its strategy to be an agent of change. One Stone helped the Group map the four strategic priorities that came out of its materiality process: Energy and carbon, Water, Responsible drinking and Health & Safety, against the most relevant SDGs – 7, 3, 6 and 8. Rather than take a broad-brush approach to the SDGs, we focused on opportunities for change, and identified a specific target within each SDG where the Group can make the most difference.

    Two further goals, SDG 12, Responsible consumption and production, and SDG 17, Partnerships for the goals, feature across the Group’s work. For instance, they are addressed in sustainable packaging innovations such as its bio-based Green Fiber Bottle and in partnership work through the Carlsberg Circular Community. Download the Carlsberg Group’s 2016 Sustainability Report to find out more.

     
  • Fran 9:51 am on February 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , SRI   

    What’s next for investors after Paris? 

    Our new associate Kajetan Czyz Analyst, Governance and Sustainable Investment at BMO, explains why Paris has galvanised investors and highlights the changes in low carbon finance expected in 2016.

    JaLON_2016 bw

    In the run-up to the Paris talks, investors participated in discussions with policymakers. Their key asks? To give the investment community a clear direction of travel including a long-term target, supported by country-level plans. Here are 5 reasons investors can feel good.

    The Paris Agreement meets all key investor expectations, and crucially during 2016 global regulators will focus on the elephant in the room—the financial sector’s role in addressing climate change.

    1. Long-term goal
    The Agreement sets an ambition to achieve “a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century” while “peaking emissions as soon as possible.” In other words the world should become carbon-neutral.

    2. National commitments
    Every participating country is obliged to produce a national emissions reduction plan (“Nationally Determined Contributions” or NDCs). All but six countries have already done so.

    3. Review mechanism
    NDCs will be reviewed in 2018 and then every five years to ensure they are in line with the Agreement’s aim to hold the global temperature rise to “well below 2°C” and “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.” A key clause states that the NDCs cannot be weakened.

    4. Transparency
    The Agreement has introduced a monitoring and verification requirement for all countries, and a global stocktaking of reduction efforts in 2023. This increases the certainty that measures are being implemented, and serves as peer pressure through “naming-and-shaming” laggards.

    5. Finance
    Developed countries have now agreed to fully fund the Green Climate Fund up to $100 billion per year from a “variety of sources,” which includes private finance.

    The UN Climate Summit in Paris gives investors greater clarity than ever before about the political willingness to transition the global energy system to a post-fossil fuel future. This will have a profound impact on energy producers and users alike. It also has implications for fund management and strategic asset allocation decisions.

    So what exactly is next for investors? Some countries, most notably France, have set in place a requirement for investors to assess the impact of their investments and analyse their carbon risk exposure. More countries are expected to follow suit, and prudent investors have already began work in this area, e.g. AXA.

    Expect 2016 to see scaling up by financial regulators on climate change. The Paris Agreement commits governments to “making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.” And as implementation gets underway, investors will be expected to take action to support this.

    Four developments investors are watching:

    1. Sweden is the first country to announce a review obliging its financial regulator to ensure the financial system is “financing sustainable development.”
    2. France’s new Energy Transition Law requires institutional investors to provide the carbon footprints of their investments, review their portfolio’s alignment with a low-carbon development pathway, and to disclose methods of integrating climate-related risks. Guidance on implementation has recently been finalised.
    3. In the UK, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) announced an industry-led Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to be chaired by Michael Bloomberg.
    4. The Chinese G20 presidency is set to make “Green Finance” a priority area for 2016, with the Paris deal on climate change—and the energy transition—a mainstream investor issue.

    The direction of travel couldn’t be clearer.

     
  • Fran 7:51 am on October 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: B Corps, , B Lab UK, , , Scottish Government,   

    B the change 

    There’s so much more to being a B Corp than certification. Of course we’re delighted about the recognition we and other founding B Corps have in the UK, but actually our real excitement is around the lasting pleasure and value of being part of this innovative, energetic community.

    And what a bunch! I have it on good authority – from B Lab co-founder Bart Houlahan himself – that the September 24th launch of the movement in the UK was the most successful yet. Held at the packed Proud Galleries in Camden, North London, it combined an epic party with music, dancing, drinking and ‘ringing the bell’ to celebrate the 62 newly certified members of the UK B Corp community.

    It's official - One Stone is re-certified!

    It’s official – One Stone is re-certified!

    Fellow B Corps inspired us with their challenging business ideas. Michele Giddens explained how impact investor Bridges Ventures enables sustainable innovation and returns for investors by supporting entrepreneurs who want to deliver social benefit. James Rutter from Cook turned conventional wisdom on flaccid convenience food on its head, and introduced us to Cook’s delicious, high quality and low impact frozen meals for busy people. And Matthew Boyes explained how social networking site streetlife makes the world wide web local by reconnecting neighbourhoods and people.

    There was hushed anticipation as Paul Polman – by video link from New York – announced that he will be setting up a B Corp group for multinationals. Quite an undertaking. Getting certified as a small company is a challenge, for huge ones it’s a bona fide expedition.
    B Lab Scotland red v2

    And led by Bart Houlahan, a small band from the B Corp community made another kind of trip North the day after the launch. Scotland is a country committed to prosperity with fairness, and the Scottish Government has set objectives to underpin its core purpose in five areas: wealthier & fairer; healthier; safer & stronger; smarter; greener. The potential overlap between Scottish Government policy and the aims of B Corps is good, so we invited Bart to introduce the B Corp concept to a roundtable of senior civil servants, business people and the social enterprise community. We enjoyed an engaged and lively discussion, Bart was brilliant and our plan to build a thriving B Corp community in Scotland received a huge boost.

     
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