Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insight, Refinitiv has today announced the launch of the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance (The Alliance) in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, United Nations, IIF, OMFIF, Tsinghua University, ASIFMA, GFMA, Climate Bonds Initiative, FinTech4good, Everledger, Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, Bank of Africa-BCME, GoImpact and other founding member firms. The objective of The Alliance is to accelerate the mobilization of capital into sustainable finance. The Alliance will solve the question: What data do investors and governments need to meet the requirements of both regulators and customers for sustainable investments and products in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda.
The Alliance: “Fundamental ESG data access and additional alternative data sets are seen as key drivers to help investors make sustainable investment decisions and positively contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
Climate change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continue to accelerate the drive towards sustainable finance, however information to quantify, measure and compare impact is in its infancy. Companies both public and private require disclosure standards on tracking, managing and reporting such information to their stakeholders. The lack of actionable data and standards results in capital markets that are unable to fully understand and integrate sustainability considerations, and as a result allocate capital to inefficient and sometimes environmentally or socially damaging activities, projects and assets. Fundamental ESG and alternative data are required to make sustainable investment decisions and to positively contribute to the UN SDGs. The Alliance aims to identify and consolidate the data required now and in the future.
David Craig, CEO of Refinitiv, said: “The need to channel capital towards the UN SDGs is urgent and the financing requirement immense. Today, many asset managers state that they don’t have enough data to help finance major transitions such as changes in demographics, climate change or addressing the shifts in global markets. It is therefore critical to define and make ESG more of a science than an art. Refinitiv is proud to be a founding member of the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance and is committed to providing investors with the data they need to channel capital towards the financing of the SDGs.”
Mainstreaming climate and environmental data into capital markets in decision-useful form requires standardization. With greater support and collaboration for standardization and innovation, investors will have the guidance and tools needed to tailor their investments and fulfil their fiduciary duties through: better quality and more widely available data on sustainability and performance; superior data analytics through the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning; and more informed judgements of strategic resilience.
The Alliance is expected to grow over the coming months to include different stakeholder groups with deep expertise in areas covered by the UN SDGs. Its creation was inspired by Refinitiv’s partnership with the UN Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs and the Future of Finance report, which shows that the availability of reliable ESG data and SDG impact data is crucial for accelerating more SDG investments at scale.
Matthew Blake, Head of Financial & Monetary System Initiatives, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum, said: “Access to data is central in the transformation to a low-carbon, sustainable economy. Only through access to fundamental ESG data can firms make informed sustainable investment decisions and comply with UN Sustainable Development Goals. We are delighted the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance is forming to take on this critical role ensuring that this much needed commodity is structured and made widely available.”
Tim Adams, President and CEO of the Institute of International Finance, said: “Reaching the ambitious targets set forth in the UN SDGs will require mobilizing trillions of dollars’ worth of funding for sustainable projects. Currently the world is sitting on more than USD 300 trillion in global wealth, but there are obstacles to tapping this pool of capital—including a lack of high-quality, accessible, and actionable data. The Future of Sustainable Data Alliance is a critical step towards breaking down these barriers and scaling up funding for the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Last year, Refinitiv made several pledges in support of the SDGs. Refinitiv is now carbon neutral and 100% powered by renewable energy. Our next generation of sustainability goals will further strengthen our greenhouse gas emissions targets and disclosures, and we will continue to robustly assess all climate risks and opportunities across the business.
Refinitiv is a strategic partner to the UN Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs committed to harnessing the power of data to bring about insight and drive informed decision making. As members of the UN Global Compact, Refinitiv is part of a community of 9,000+ businesses across 135 countries that are committed to operating with responsible business practices at its core. Refinitiv is also a member of the Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance advising the European Commission on the sustainable agenda alongside other private sector experts.
Refinitiv has been serving the financial industry with fully integrated and objective ESG data and solutions for over 15 years, providing a fully transparent resource that is trusted by investors and corporates to drive positive impact and make more informed investment decisions.