It’s worth keeping up with the GRI in our view, because the restrictions on companies which don’t have a high ESG rating are likely to get tighter in the future, especially when it comes to insuring public sector buildings, infrastructure, events or new projects. It’s also likely that some private companies will become uninsurable – at least by Western brands – by 2030 or therabouts. Although a subsidiary broker brand in Asia or Latin America might be able to arrange cover. As far as the EU, North America or Australia are concerned, the religion of climate change demands observance, just as much as the holy month of Pride, so insurance brands who want lucrative contracts need to tick the right boxes.
Here’s the word;
What is the role of the ESG ratings industry, do they actually determine whether companies are sustainable or not – and how will future changes in the world sustainability reporting affect them?
These are some of the issues explored in the latest edition of The GRI Perspective: The ABC of ESG ratings – an invitation for common ground. Lifting the lid on a grouping of organizations whose role in the sustainability disclosure landscape is often misunderstood, it introduces the types and functions of the ratings firms out there – and why questions about the consistency and transparency of the ESG rankings they produce persist.
Bronte Klein, Senior Manager – Executive Affairs, GRI, said:
“ESG ratings have an important role in benchmarking sustainability information, which can help investors to assess and contrast the performance of companies against ESG metrics. Yet, when it comes to what these agencies actually rate, the overwhelming focus is on sustainability risk and not impact.
Getting to grips with whether a business is taking accountability for its socio-economic and environmental impacts on the world, and thereby contributing to sustainable development, cannot be achieved using a financial lens alone. ESG ranking firms are starting to realize this, which is reflected by increased attention on impact materiality, as enabled by reporting using the GRI Standards.”
The GRI Perspective is a regular briefing series, launched in January 2022, covering topical themes from the world of sustainability reporting. Focus areas in the previous seven issues include human rights reporting, stakeholder capitalism, lobbying, tax transparency – and more.