PRI partnership aims to educate businesses on value of sustainability data

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the PRI hope to improve data sharing between companies and investors.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has partnered with the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment for a new corporate education programme.

The new programme is designed to educate businesses on how best they should present information on sustainability, and to explain how such information can be used to help them reach their corporate objectives.

In a statement on Thursday (27 August) the two parties said that they hoped the programme would facilitate “direct conversations between investors and business” to “drive corporate-investor action on sustainable development.”

Specifically, the two organisations hope to improve understanding between businesses and investors, to align incentives, and ensure sustainability considerations are embedded into evaluation, valuation and decision-making processes.

“We are working to redesign corporate and investor engagement and our organisations represent a powerful combination of those voices,” said Peter Bakker, president and chief executive officer of the WBCSD.

“We see this work as integral for aligning the financial system with the transformations needed to address the major social and environmental issues – like climate change and inequality.”

Fiona Reynolds, chief executive officer of the PRI (pictured), said it is crucial that investors are able to easily access sustainability data sets in order to inform their decision making.

“Our signatories continue to tell us that being able to access comparable and meaningful sustainability data is a roadblock to progress when it comes to responsible investment,” she explained.

“Working with WBCSD will enable PRI to enhance several channels over which investors have influence – capital allocation and investors’ engagement with companies.”

Reynolds added that, by collaborating, both companies and investors can further develop the tools and data needed for future decisions.