Refinitiv announces launch of Future of Sustainable Data Alliance
Alliance objective is to accelerate the mobilization of capital into sustainable finance
BUILDING on its commitment to drive change through data and insight, Refinitiv announced January 22 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 by solving 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.
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, says: “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.”
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.
Matthew Blake, head of Financial & Monetary System Initiatives, member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum, says: “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.”
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.
“Reaching the ambitious targets set forth in the UN SDGs will require mobilizing trillions of dollars’ worth of funding for sustainable projects,” says Tim Adams, president and CEO of the Institute of International Finance. “Currently the world is sitting on more than US$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.”
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