In a 2013 Guardian interview, Allen White, co-founder and former CEO of GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), argued that sustainability reporting has evolved from being driven by factors such as corporate accountability and performance improvement to being rediscovered as a transformational instrument for redefining corporate value and value creation:
“In a complex, perilous and uncertain world, reporting is playing a vital role in reframing the meaning of value. The dominance of short-term shareholder value is under more scrutiny than at any time in last three decades. Slowly but steadily, a new definition of value is emerging, one rooted in multiple capitals that encompass human, social, natural alongside financial. In the future, the valuation of a company can and must accord parity to all forms of capital. The planet’s well-being and business prosperity alike are at stake. Sustainability reporting stands to play a leading role in this seminal transformation.”1
While sustainability reporting is not yet mandatory, some companies have already reaped the benefits that derive from such a practice. An example of a company that managed to switch to sustainability while keeping its business going strong comes from the multinational corporation Capgemini, which provides consulting, technology, professional, and outsourcing services.
In their 2018/19 report, the company claimed the successful implementation of measures such as having their target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the rethinking of business travelling, the installation of solar panels and specific improvements to the energy efficiency of working space, all of which allegedly led to the lowering of car travel and air travel emissions, the reduction of total energy use by 18% since 2015, and the decrease of their carbon footprint in record time. It was estimated that in 2018, two years ahead of schedule, Capgemini reached their 2020 target with a 21% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per employee against 2015 levels.
“Targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered “science-based” if they are in line with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.”2
When it comes to the adoption of sustainability measures, the German insurance colossus Allianz exposes similar reasons to the ones displayed by Capgemini. What lies at the root of the company´s decision for more ethical business practices is creating a positive environmental footprint and impact on society, strengthening the relationship with customers and stakeholders, and building trust.
Their adaption to sustainability was backed by a materiality assessment conducted in 2018, which enabled the identification of material issues relevant to stakeholders, as well as by continuous reporting based on the outcome of the above-mentioned materiality analysis in order to shape future corporate responsibility strategies.
Allianz Climate Change Strategy is comprised of three main steps: social inclusion, ESG Integration, namely incorporating ESG factors into their proprietary investment processes and offering responsible investment solutions to asset management clients, and the fundamental divestment from coal.
“Our latest achievement is the commitment to set ourselves long-term emissions reduction targets for our proprietary investment portfolio in line with the Paris Climate Agreement’s target as part of the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi). Furthermore, we decided to stop offering P&C insurance for single-site coal-fired power plants and coal mines, be they operated or planned, and strengthened our coal exclusion approach in investments. Our strategy is regularly updated and will be aligned with the recommendations developed by the G20 Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).” 3
Simply fill out the form below and we will be in touch.