Companies in Action
Nasdaq launches platform to simplify and streamline sustainability reporting for public companies. In a quest to increase transparency in the market, a plethora of disclosure setting bodies are providing guidance to companies on what to disclose and where. This abundance of standards can be overwhelming and take too much time from companies trying to determine what is relevant and get the right information in the right platforms. Nasdaq has designed a platform to enable corporate clients to streamline the process of gathering and submitting sustainability data and navigate disclosure frameworks efficiently. Looking to address survey fatigue, the service, released in early 2020, allows companies to input the sustainability information into the platform so that it can then be spread out into the different standard setting bodies and rating agencies. The platform supports leading reporting frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), ISS, MSCI, Robecco SAM, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Sustainalytics and the Task Force of Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), among others. The company notes that, as the product matures, it will allow Nasdaq to measure benchmarks and analyze trends from reporting organizations.
PepsiCo articulates water-related impacts to investors in its financial fillings. Proactive disclosure of emerging risks and opportunities helps investors understand issues that may become material in the future and illuminates how companies are responding. Companies continue to explore different avenues to make this information decision-useful and accessible to investors. In its 2019 financial filing, PepsiCo identified the potential adverse impacts that water scarcity can pose for the business. Higher production costs and investments in water efficient technologies could compromise the company’s business and financial performance. Further, failing to maintain high ethical, social and environmental practices (such as failing to act responsibly with respect to water use, human rights in the supply chain or public health or community impacts) could also hurt the company’s reputation and brand image. Water scarcity thus poses a double risk: not only can a lack of water negatively affect the company’s business operations and finances, a failure to be water efficient can also adversely affect consumer perceptions of its brands.
Salesforce innovates sustainability reporting platform to boost efficiency. Collecting sustainability information for reporting purposes is a time consuming and cumbersome process for most companies. Looking to address this problem, Salesforce turned to its own business capabilities to develop a solution that would allow it to shift to a more efficient and timely system. In the fall of 2019, Salesforce team launched Sustainability Cloud, a platform for quickly tracking, analyzing and reporting reliable environmental data. The system allowed the company to align its sustainability and financial timelines, so that it could seamlessly combine verification processes and embed the latest information in financial filings. Inspired by the impact the platform created for Salesforce own process, the company launched Salesforce Sustainability Cloud as a product that partners could use in their own companies to strengthen their reporting systems.