As its previous edition in 2018 and 2019, “ISAR Honours” 2020 aimed to raise awareness and facilitate dissemination of national and international best practices on sustainability and SDG reporting. In particular it supported the public and private sector efforts on enhancing the quality and comparability of companies’ reporting on their contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its usefulness for monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It recognized policy, institutional or capacity-building initiatives, publicly available at the international or national level that encourage and assist enterprises to publish data on their contribution to the SDG implementation; and assist Governments in collecting such data for the SDG monitoring needs.
ISAR Honours results
UNCTAD announced recipients of the ISAR Honours 2020 at the 37th meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) on 3 November. As its previous edition in 2018 and 2019, “ISAR Honours”, the awards recognized entities that excel in promoting environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting among companies as well as facilitate the dissemination of national and international best practices on reporting the private sector’s contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This year, 37 public and private sector entities from 20 developing, developed and countries with economies in transition were considered for the honours (For more details please refer to the ISAR Honours Brochure 2020).
“We congratulate all the recipients of this year’s honours. The sizeable number of candidates proved that businesses are increasing their commitment to Agenda 2030 despite the constraints and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mainstreaming ESG factors into capital market activities and financial instruments is playing an important role towards the achievement of the SDGs,” said James Zhan, UNCTAD’s investment and enterprise director, at the virtual awards ceremony.
The virtual ISAR Honors 2020 ceremony was attended by more than 100 participants and viewed by more than 150 people on the UN Web TV website.
In the international category 3 honourees have been recognized:
✓ Global Algorithmic Institute
“Harmonizing corporate sustainability reporting through the intersection of Big Data, AI Technology and UNCTAD-ISAR Global Core Indicators (GCI)”
“Global Algorithmic Institute is a Think Tank, that uses Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to measure ESG risks and the progress toward achieving the UN SDGs. GAI is collaborating with UNCTAD by establishing a global data collection mechanism and repository of private sector data to inform SDG indicator 12.6.1 which counts the number of companies publishing sustainability reports, and analyzing how well existing corporate reported data align with the Global Core Indicators (GCIs). I want to thank ISAR Honours and the opportunity to be a part of the initiative on SDG Indicator 12.6.1 and additionally, to be a part of the special study to create awareness around the GCIs. GAI looks forward to continuing the project and being back next year to show more results and progress.”
—— Dr. Madelyn Antoncic, CEO, Global Algorithmic Institute
✓ The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S)
“The A4S Essential Guide Series”
“On behalf of the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), I am very pleased to receive the ISAR Honour for our initiative “The A4S Essential Guide Series”. A4S aims to transform finance to drive a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable economy. We do this by providing guidance and convening senior finance leadership to inspire change, transform decision making and scale up action. “The A4S Essential Guide Series”, developed by the A4S CFO Leadership Network, provides practical guidance, knowledge and case studies to help the finance and accounting community address the practical issues of integrating sustainability into their business processes and decisions. You can download the guides from our website: www.accountingforsustainability.org and sign up to our newsletter to find out when new guides and case studies are published.”
—— Elizabeth To, Senior Manager – Sustainability and Accounting, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S)
✓ FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
In the national category 3 honourees have been recognized:
✓ Colombo Stock Exchange
Engagement with GRI on ‘Enhancing Corporate Transparency in Sri Lanka’ by inculcating sustainability reporting among listed companies through workshops, events, roundtables and the publication of an ESG Guidance document for Listed companies
“We are pleased to be recognized by the ISAR Honours 2020. We are also encouraged by Sri Lankan companies’ commitment to communicating their sustainability performance and will continue to help them embrace and advance ESG practices.”
——Rajeeva Bandaranaike, the Chief Executive Officer of the Colombo Stock Exchange
✓ London Stock Exchange Group, United Kingdom
LSEG ESG Reporting Guidance
“London Stock Exchange Group would like to express the gratitude and appreciation for this important recognition. As a global market infrastructure and index provider, we believe in the importance of reliable and comparable ESG data in informing sustainable investment decisions and driving capital towards assets that will shape the sustainable, carbon-neutral economies of 2050. We are proud that our ESG reporting guidance and all the initiatives that have built on it since its launch have been selected for their relevance to ISAR’s work programme. Thank you again for this honour which is an encouragement to stay focused on ESG disclosure and the development of solutions for sustainable investment.”
——Sara Lovisolo, Group Sustainability Manager, London Stock Exchange Group
✓ Japan Exchange Group, Japan
Practical handbook on ESG disclosure
“Japan Exchange Group, parent of Tokyo Stock Exchange, has been actively encouraging ESG investment in Japan. In March 2020, we published a Practical Handbook for ESG Disclosure aimed at TSE listed companies. The Handbook aims to help these companies to link ESG issues to corporate value and disclose in a way that the links can be clearly understood. For that reason, rather than listing specific data points to disclose, it sets out issues that companies will come across when considering ESG disclosure and suggests processes that companies may wish to follow to decide on the contents of their disclosure. Also, each Step in the Handbook is chosen with reference to existing frameworks like TCFD, SASB, IIRC, GRI etc., and the relevant parts of each framework are specified. We hope that this Handbook provides companies with the practical information they need to get their ESG disclosure off the ground. Now, JPX has launched an ESG Knowledge Hub on its website, to build on the contents of the Handbook by providing up-to-date information to further help listed companies with their ESG disclosure.”
——Natsuho Torii, Sustainability Committee, Corporate Strategy, Japan Exchange Group, Inc.
UNCTAD also gave special recognition to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), acknowledging its efforts in incorporating sustainability reporting aspects in its Financial Reporting (FiRe) Award, an established initiative on corporate reporting
“The FiRe Award encourages and assists Kenyan enterprises to disclose and publish data on their contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The award also facilitates improvements in companies’ reporting on ESG issues, while ensuring this practice is entrenched in their reporting cycle.”
——Cliff Nyandoro, head of technical services at ICPAK