Under the High Patronage of Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Arnaud Leroy, CEO of ADEME, announced the winners of the International Climate Reporting Awards on November 28, 2019.
Created in 2016, the awards are intended to reward financial institutions that integrate environmental criteria into their activities and investment policies.
Six financial institutions based in France, the United States and Australia were recognized for demonstrating innovation and best practices:
Pillar 1: Climate-related integration into overall strategy, governance, & engagement practices: Aviva France
Pillar 2: Climate risk exposure assessment and management: Citi & Allianz France
Pillar 3: Alignment and contribution to the Paris goals: Ircantec
Pillar 4: Climate-related communication plan to clients and beneficiaries: AXA
Jury’s Special Prize: Australian Ethical (having been shortlisted under two of the pillars)
In addition to the winners, shortlisted institutions included BNP Paribas Asset Management, the French public service additional pension scheme (ERAFP), the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and Yes Bank.
About the Awards
The French Government’s support for this initiative is in line with its pioneering work in the field of climate reporting, starting with the adoption of Article 173 (the first climate financial regulation in Europe) in 2015.
As a key contributor to the development of Article 173, the 2° Investing Initiative managed the organization of the criteria development and scoring of applications on behalf of ADEME, CGDD, and the Steering Committee. EUROSIF and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG-FISMA) provided additional support.
Awarded by an independent jury representing public institutions, investor coalitions, industry, NGOs, standards bodies and academics, the Awards aim to stimulate innovation and recognize best practices of financial institutions around the world in climate reporting. They are also an opportunity for candidates to receive feedback on their reporting processes, as well as to identify key challenges in climate-related reporting and disclosure.
The evaluation criteria are based on the main requirements of current international reporting standards and frameworks, including Article 173 of the Energy Transition Act for Green Growth, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, among others.
In 2019, the Awards broadened the range of eligible institutions in order to raise awareness of best practices in climate reporting across a wider sample of the financial sector. Candidates included asset managers, asset owners, private sector lenders and banks, development banks and central banks from around the world.
Arnaud Leroy, president of ADEME, said: “By building on the recommendations of Article 173, the TCFD, and the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, among others, the 2019 Awards aim to both recognize innovation and highlight best practices. Allianz France, Australian Ethical, Aviva France, AXA, Citi, and Ircantec are leading examples to their peers worldwide.”
Stan Dupré, CEO of the 2° Investing Initiative, said: “Having contributed to the first climate-related financial regulation in Europe in the context of Article 173, we are proud to have played a key role in organizing the International Climate Reporting Awards. We congratulate this year’s winners for setting a market-leading example to financial institutions around the globe.”
Will Oulton, Chairman of Eurosif, said: “Climate-related reporting is a vital way for financial institutions to keep their stakeholders fully informed. The winners of this year’s International Climate Reporting Awards recognize the importance of these disclosures not only in Europe but in other markets further afield.”
Olivier Guersent, Director-General of DG FISMA, said: “The International Climate Reporting Awards come at an opportune time, as the EU is preparing upgrades to its pioneering Non-Financial Reporting Directive. We hope that the awards, as well as enhanced regulations, will support stronger climate-related disclosures by financial institutions in years to come.”
About non-financial reporting
For companies and investors, “non-financial reporting” involves efforts to reduce the negative environmental and social impact of their activities, as well as to improve transparency.
Climate reporting documents generally come in the form of annual reports, which companies or investors use to present environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) criteria. Their content may be determined by government regulation, as is the case in France. They may also shed light on how organizations consider the financial risks associated with climate change in their investment strategy.
Non-financial reporting by investors makes it possible to assess the consideration of ESG criteria in investment and voting policies. The objective of the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition is to improve the transparency of information for retail investors as well as to mobilize investors in favor of the ecological transition.
Following France’s 2015 Energy Transition Law for Green Growth, investors must communicate on the ESG aspects of their investment policy and the means implemented to contribute to the energy transition. France is thus the first country in the world to require investors to publish information on their contributions to climate objectives and the financial risks associated with the shift to a low-carbon world.