Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) frameworks are sets of guidelines, principles, and metrics that organizations use to assess and report their performance in areas related to sustainability, responsible business practices, and ethical governance. These frameworks help companies measure and communicate their ESG efforts to stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, and regulators.
Several prominent ESG frameworks exist, each with its own focus and approach. Here are some of the most widely recognized ESG frameworks:
[ 01 ] Global Reporting Initiative (GRI):
The GRI is one of the most established and widely used ESG reporting frameworks. It provides a comprehensive set of sustainability reporting standards and guidelines. GRI standards cover a broad range of ESG topics and are designed to facilitate transparency and comparability of sustainability reporting across organizations.
[ 02 ] Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB):
SASB focuses on industry-specific sustainability standards, providing a standardized set of ESG disclosure topics and metrics tailored to various sectors. This framework helps companies report on the most relevant ESG issues for their industry.
[ 03 ] Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD):
TCFD, established by the Financial Stability Board, focuses on climate-related financial risks and opportunities. It provides guidance for organizations to disclose climate-related information in their financial filings. TCFD encourages companies to assess the impact of climate change on their business and disclose relevant data.
[ 04 ] UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI):
PRI is a global initiative supported by the United Nations that encourages investors to integrate ESG factors into their investment decisions and ownership practices. Signatories commit to six principles related to ESG integration, engagement, and disclosure.
[ 05 ] UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
The United Nations has established a set of 17 SDGs that address a wide range of global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate action, and more. Companies often align their ESG efforts with these goals, reporting on their contributions to specific SDGs.
[ 06 ] Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP):
CDP is a platform for disclosing environmental information, particularly carbon emissions and climate-related data. It provides a standardized reporting framework for companies to disclose their environmental performance and climate strategies.
[ 07 ] ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 Standards:
ISO 14001 focuses on environmental management, while ISO 45001 deals with occupational health and safety. While not exclusive ESG frameworks, these ISO standards are relevant to ESG considerations and can be used to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and safety.
[ 08 ] Equator Principles:
These principles are a framework for assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project finance. They are often used by financial institutions to assess the environmental and social impact of lending and investment activities.
[ 09 ] Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI):
These indices are used to assess the sustainability performance of publicly traded companies. They are based on various ESG criteria and are used by investors to identify sustainable investment opportunities.
[ 10 ] Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD):
The CSRD is a European Union initiative that aims to revise and expand the existing Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). It will require more companies to report on a broader set of sustainability-related topics.
It's important for organizations to select the ESG frameworks that align best with their industry, objectives, and stakeholder expectations. Many companies choose to report using multiple frameworks to provide a comprehensive view of their ESG performance.