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Cop 27 ESG and BRSR connecting the Dots
4th Nov 2022
In recent times ESG considerations have become the number one on an organization’s risk register, traditionally associated with sustainability or corporate responsibility. What could be the reasons why they are suddenly so Relevant and Critical?
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is the term used to identify matters traditionally associated with sustainability or corporate responsibility – focusing on the impact on the environment and broader society.
Companies, regulators, investors and other stakeholders are increasingly focusing on these in response to the climate crisis and increasing urgency around diversity, inclusion and equality.
Stakeholders are increasingly evaluating companies beyond short-term profits, emphasizing ESG factors that potentially impact organizations’ short- and long-term value. So are increasingly crucial as companies emphasize equitable and inclusive long-term value creation.
Egypt is hosting the UN Climate Summit COP 27 from November 6 to November 18, 2022, in Sharm El Sheikh, with financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation high on the agenda.
According to the International Monetary (IMF) Fund, the investor appetite for sustainable finance incorporating ESG principles has mainly concentrated in advanced economies, but emerging markets reported a surge last year.
ESG investments now makeup about 18 per cent of foreign financing for emerging markets, excluding China, quadruple the average for recent years, the IMF said.
When discussing ESG, we consider how institutions use these three factors to evaluate their impact.
- Contribution to climate change through GHG emissions
- Pollution control
- Impact on biodiversity
- Impact on water resource
- Contribution to a circular economy
- Human rights
- Modern slavery
- Child labour
- Workplace safety
- Employee welfare
- Diversity and inclusivity
- Global and local community relations
- Executive pay
- Board diversity
- Political lobbying and donations
- Tax strategy
- Business ethics
- Bribery and corruption
India has introduced new environment, social, and governance (ESG) reporting requirements for the top 1,000 listed companies by market capitalization. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) stipulates that the disclosure must be made through a new format, namely the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). BRSR reporting has been voluntary for FY 2021-22 but will be mandatory from FY 2022-23.
In 2020, SEBI mandated Business and Responsibility Reporting as voluntary till 2022 and compulsory from 2023 for the top 1,000 listed companies in the market.
Why is the Buzz around ESG?
The inspiration comes from paradigm-shifting by Investors to look at the non-financial indicators the same as financial parameters. This is the Key inspiration for CEOs looking towards ESG, as it can attract capital when infused with business strategy. BRSR (Business Reporting and Sustainable Reporting) is mandatory for the top 1000 companies in market capitalization by 2022-23. BRSR aims to gauge Companies’ performance by measuring ESG parameters by asking companies 150 questions across nine fundamental principles.
Circularity, where one industry’s waste can be used as raw material for another, is a massive opportunity that the principles of ESG can further fuel. Another major ESG issue in the fashion industry is transparency. Grasim has applied Blockchain technology for end-to-end traceability since transparency has become an essential part of ESG today. Like Grasim, Welspun has become one of the first home textile manufacturers to use a Blockchain and AI-based traceability platform at such a large scale, which is set to capture all its product lines as major Sustainability-related data points. These include ESG metrics such as water usage, fair pay, power consumption, and gender equality.
Sustainability reporting presents an excellent opportunity to accelerate a business’s ESG evolution, becoming more resilient to climate change and less reliant on fossil fuels and other finite resources. By measuring and reporting ESG risks, companies show shareholders and other stakeholders that they can manage these risks better and deliver more excellent long-term value, thus enhancing their operating licenses.
Net zero touches every part of a business. Decarbonization plans must, therefore, acknowledge the enormous impact on the entire value chain, including R&D, product design, manufacturing and operations, as well as key relationships with suppliers, distributors, logistics providers, retailers, and other business partners.
India has pledged to cut its emissions to Net-Zero by 2070 at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow. However, achieving this target could be a tough grind for India as its energy demand is expected to rise sharply over the next decade as the economy continues on its growth trajectory.
Global efforts to slow climate change are promising but insufficient. Climate resilience saves lives, reduces poverty, addresses underlying inequalities and delivers economic returns.
Building climate resilience without climate adaptation and climate action is not possible. Accelerating climate adaptation equals making climate risks factoring, making those risks visible, responding to business decisions and government, supporting locally-led transformation and mobilizing finance for climate-resilient solutions.
TRST01 works to build resilience by advancing critical adaptation initiatives through digital transformation and making them available for Global consumption.
TRST01 is fully engaged in Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) making by Consulting, Digitising, Framing and Reporting as per SEBI guidelines.
OECD*, finding on use cases on Blockchain Technologies as a Digital Enabler for Sustainable Infrastructure highlights four major blockchain use cases.
*OECD(The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organization with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade)
- A decentralized financing infrastructure could enable the full spectrum of investors to invest directly in sustainable infrastructure through a blockchain-based platform, transforming illiquid assets into tradeable digital assets and increasing financing flows for sustainable development. Two financing methods were proposed.
- Projects that issue security tokens where investors receive a return on investment according to project performance;
- And a utility token through which purchasers receive access to future services provided by the infrastructure project. Tokenisation of infrastructure also enables automation of processes and reduced Reliance on intermediaries, with reduced cost of administrative functions.
- Emissions certificate trading systems could be more efficient by providing transparency and reliable data through a global blockchain layer. This helps to control quota rules effectively, certificate circulation, and promote market integrity and robust carbon accounting while also automating transactions and increasing overall efficiency. Regulatory, compliance and administrative functions can be codified in the system, creating a transparent book of accounts on emissions. A blockchain-enabled platform could also link treaty-level registries supporting the Paris Agreement, particularly relating to Articles 2.1c and 6.
- A blockchain-based infrastructure contract management system, which verifies and tracks the valid and legally binding versions of contracts in infrastructure projects, could immensely improve transparency in current multi-party contract agreements. Involved parties adopting such IT systems can benefit from the certainty of knowing which contract version is valid and reviewing the conditions at any given time, leading to more streamlined and automated processes. This solution would work in tandem with existing IT environments, like document management systems, enabling high security for sensitive documents while providing a trusted single view on multi-party contracts.
- An underlying blockchain base protocol layer could allow decentralized applications to be built by any organization to support the governance, alignment and monitoring of various infrastructure standards. Decision-makers, including investors, require access to truthful, standardized, and up-to-date infrastructure assets. This could include data on financial performance and ESG criteria or climate-related disclosures.
TRST01 uses its Sustainability Expertise and Digitalization Techniques to prepare BRSR and GRI standards linkage.
Nowadays, many discussions are going on Climate resilience which can anticipate, prepare for, and respond to hazardous events, trends, or disturbances related to climate.
TRST01 Climate Action and Carbon Credits deal with climate resilience by reducing exposure and vulnerability to climate hazards, cutting back greenhouse gas emissions and conserving biodiversity as a priority in decision-making and policies on all aspects of society, including energy, industry, health, water, food, etc.
Happy to announce as TRST01 is fully power-packed with tackling environmental challenges, climate change, and economic development. Given that existing data is fragmented and may be unaligned with climate objectives, a blockchain-enabled platform would provide the digital backbone needed to support data transparency for sustainable infrastructure development. The process also enables automated compliance checks, data standardization, and integration with other digital technologies like AI, IoT and Satellite Imagery.
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