Big Four firms release ESG reporting metrics with World Economic Forum

24 Sep, 2020 02:31
source: Singularity Financial

Singularity Financial Hong Kong September 24, 2020 – Executives of the “Big Four” accounting firms — Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG — announced Tuesday a new reporting framework for environmental, social, and governance standards (ESGs).

The World Economic Forum and the International Business Council (IBC), run by Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, partnered with the Big Four to make the initiative happen. The move aims to encourage the large global companies in the IBC, about 130 in all, to adopt the ESG standards for their 2021 reporting.

The metrics were released Tuesday by the World Economic Forum in conjunction with the fourth annual Sustainable Development Impact Summit, which coincided with Climate Week in New York. They come a week after five ESG standard-setters — the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)— agreed to work together more closely on aligning their various sets of standards and frameworks after being urged to do so by international securities regulators.

The big four, which dominate in providing auditing and other professional services, have clients that collectively comprise the majority of all public companies.

“This is a unique moment in history to walk the talk and to make stakeholder capitalism measurable,” said World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab in a statement. “Having companies accepting, not only to measure but also to report on, their environmental and social responsibility will represent a sea change in economic history.”

“The time is now for companies to broaden their engagement with stakeholders,” Carmine Di Sibio, EY global chairman and CEO, told the local media.

“The combined impacts of climate change, COVID-19 and economic inequality contribute to the urgency for businesses to embrace long-term, sustainable value creation and prioritize the needs of people and planet and the creation of broad-based economic prosperity,” Di Sibio added.

Bill Thomas, global chairman and CEO of KPMG International, said in a press release that ESG-focused metrics will help company leaders “make a difference where it counts.

“Reporting on ESG factors like carbon emissions and human rights and other key metrics will not only help inform investors while helping companies control their full corporate value, it has the power to realign capitalism for the benefit of broader society,” Thomas said.