Misurare la performance attraverso l’impatto: gli obiettivi dell’Onu

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di Finanza Operativa 29 Maggio 2018 | 12:30

A cura di Niamh Whooley, ESG Engagement Analyst di PIMCO
Dalla loro pubblicazione nel 2015, i 17 Obiettivi di sviluppo sostenibile (SDG) delle Nazioni Unite hanno assunto un ruolo significativo nel mobilitare l’azione e la cooperazione da parte dei governi, delle aziende e della comunità finanziaria nel promuovere lo sviluppo sostenibile. A novembre 2017 è stata inoltre emessa la prima obbligazione SDG per lo sviluppo sostenibile al mondo.
Whooley ritiene che l’impegno attivo con gli emittenti possa contribuire a ridurre il rischio di credito, a sbloccare il valore per gli investitori e ad influenzare l’impatto positivo su economie, società e ambiente.
Un obiettivo importante per l’iniziativa ESG di PIMCO è di incorporare gli SDG nell’attività di coinvolgimento come riferimento per l’attenzione, la responsabilità e, infine, la misurazione dell’impatto. L’esperta evidenzia come, nel 2017, PIMCO abbia intrapreso uno sforzo per incoraggiare gli emittenti a valutare e divulgare gli SDG più rilevanti per la loro attività. I prossimi passi includeranno metriche quantificabili e un processo di mappatura che aiuti anche a identificare i collegamenti critici tra le diverse industrie e gli SDG.
Un numero crescente di attori internazionali, tra cui l’UN Global Compact e i Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), ha iniziato a lavorare per allineare le pratiche di investimento e le metodologie di misurazione con gli obiettivi di sostenibilità.
Come sottolinea Whooley, PIMCO partecipa attivamente alle iniziative SDG di entrambe queste organizzazioni. In definitiva, l’esperta di PIMCO afferma la necessità ottenere la capacità di quantificare e confrontare il contributo di ciascuna azienda al raggiungimento degli SDG.
Non è sufficiente sapere che un emittente sta migliorando le sue prestazioni sociali e ambientali ma si vuole capire il suo ruolo nel sostenere le ambizioni globali concordate dai leader mondiali nel 2015. Gli investitori focalizzati su ESG cercano di costruire portafogli che soddisfino i loro obiettivi finanziari e di impatto.
Secondo Whooley, gli emittenti possono sostenere questo sforzo misurando e riportando l’impatto dei loro prodotti e servizi sulla società e l’ambiente.
 

UN Sustainable Development Goals: Measuring Performance Through Impact

One important objective for PIMCO’s ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiative is to incorporate the UN SDGs into our engagement activity as a framework for focus, accountability and ultimately measuring impact.

We believe that active engagement with issuers can help reduce credit risk, unlock value for investors, and influence positive impact on economies, societies and the environment. One important objective for PIMCO’s ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiative is to incorporate the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our engagement activity as a framework for focus, accountability and ultimately measuring impact.
Since their publication in 2015, the 17 SDGs – see graphic below – have taken on a significant role in mobilizing action and cooperation by governments, companies and the financial community in advancing sustainable development. In November 2017, the world’s first sustainable development SDG bond was also issued.

Status review of current SDG activity

In 2017, PIMCO undertook a targeted engagement effort to encourage issuers to assess and disclose the SDGs that are most relevant to their business. Of the issuers who provided detailed responses to our questions, 58% are reviewing how their business can contribute to the advancement of the SDGs. Next steps would include quantifiable metrics such as revenues from products and services that directly support SDGs.

A tool for dialogue

Many of the issuers we contacted are testing the relevance of the SDGs for their business and are mapping the 17 goals to their activities. Some have moved to the next stage and identified priority SDGs where they can have the greatest impact. This mapping exercise can serve as a tool for investors looking to assess exposure to advancing the SDGs .
This process also helps to identify critical links between different industries and the SDGs, as a talking point to develop industry-specific ideas for action.
For example, the banking sector is a key enabler of the SDGs. At the macroeconomic level, there is a clear link between financial inclusion and sustainable development, and the SDGs will be hard to achieve without bringing people into the banking system (Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities). In addition, banks will play a critical role in helping to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy by developing a broad portfolio of investment options (Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy) and integrating climate risks into underwriting practices (Goal 13 – Climate Action). For example, a number of banks have introduced policies that prohibit financing of new coal-fired power plants or new greenfield coal mines in OECD countries. In PIMCO’s ESG initiative, we seek to identify banks that prioritize lending to environmentally sensitive infrastructure projects (Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).

If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it

An increasing number of international actors, including the UN Global Compact and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), have begun work to align investment practices and measurement methodologies with sustainability goals. PIMCO actively participates in the SDG initiatives of both of these organizations.
Ultimately, we want the ability to quantify and compare the contribution of each company to the achievement of the SDGs. It is not sufficient to know that an issuer is improving its social and environmental performance. We also want to understand its role in supporting the global ambitions agreed by world leaders in 2015.
ESG-focused investors seek to build portfolios that match their financial and impact goals. Issuers can support this effort by measuring and reporting the wider impact of their products and services on society and the environment.
 

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