A network of financial institutions, capital markets participants and industry stakeholders have set up the Impact Disclosure Taskforce to establish voluntary guidance to help corporate entities and sovereigns measure and disclose their efforts to reduce major gaps to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The taskforce is working towards releasing the guidance for public consultation in April next year.

The idea behind the taskforce is to help corporates and sovereign entities provide the disclosures necessary to access the pools of capital looking to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs with their financial investments.

More specifically, the guidance aims to help entities set targets that specify their intentions for incremental contributions towards addressing the development challenges that are most relevant to their local context.

The guidance is also supposed to help the entities monitor and report their progress against such targets.

It will be primarily aimed at entities that operate in economies facing the largest SDG gaps and in jurisdictions without regulatory guidance for sustainability disclosures.

The taskforce announcement cites estimates from the UN Conference on Trade and Development that achieving the SDGs requires over $4trn per annum of investment, with investment particularly needed in emerging markets and developing economies.

The taskforce also intends to explore mechanisms for disseminating and analysing the entity-level impact information provided to promote transparency and accountability.

It comprises major financial institutions and industry participants, including participants from Amundi, AXA Investment Managers, Bank of America, BlueOrchard, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and Morningstar Sustainalytics.

The taskforce also obtains input from public development banks as well as from the Global Impact Investing Network and members of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance.

The International Sustainability Standards Board and the International Capital Market Association are observers to the taskforce.

“Mobilising private investment toward impact-driven solutions has never been so dramatically needed to accelerate sustainable development in emerging markets and developing economies,” said Caroline Le Meaux, global head of ESG research, engagement and voting at Amundi.

“The financial sector needs to accompany corporates and sovereigns facing the largest gaps towards achieving the SDGs, advising them on how they can set targets and report on them to be able to tap sustainable pools of capital.”

The Impact Disclosure Taskforce is not the only ‘taskforce’ in the impact investing area. Another group is the Impact Taskforce, for example, which is under the leadership of the G7 and with the support of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and the Impact Investing Institute.

According to a spokesperson for the new Disclosure Taskforce, the two group’s efforts are complementary, with the Disclosure Taskforce focusing on guidance on disclosures that would be attractive to impact investors, while the Impact Taskforce recommends best practices for impact investors. 

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