Calvert News & Commentary

Emerging Markets Disclosure Project Releases Final Report

Calvert pleased to play a leadership role in multi-year effort to push for greater ESG transparency in emerging market companies

10/15/2012

Untitled Document

As one of the founding members of the Emerging Markets Disclosure Project (EMDP), Calvert recognized the need for greater environmental, social and governance (ESG) transparency in emerging markets. In 2008, Calvert worked together with the International Working Group of the US SIF Foundation, and Boston Common Asset Management, with additional support from the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Finance Corporation, and a number of ESG data providers to create EMDP.

EMDP's final report offers a number of successes and the initiative's three part strategy— market research, investor support and corporate engagement— to address the challenge of ESG reporting in emerging markets. At the conclusion of this five year project, EMDP was recognized as an international multi-stakeholder initiative that included 51 participants, was supported by 55 investors representing more than $1 trillion in assets under management and engaged 72 companies across Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea.

According to Mike Lombardo, Senior Sustainability Analyst and Manager at Calvert and Co-Chair of EMDP, "This initiative successfully reached across different markets because it was not a one size fits all approach. EMDP offered a unique strategy that combined research, education on the materiality of sustainability and direct corporate engagement, in collaboration with local and international investment partners."

Key Conclusions

The growing focus by investors and increased regulatory action— for example, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange requires listed companies to issue integrated report and Brazil has two sustainability indices— in emerging markets is raising greater awareness among companies regarding the value of ESG transparency. EMDP's final report offers a number of lessons learned with implications for all investors.

  • Collaboration between international and local investors helped create the necessary leverage to bring a number of companies to the table for dialogue.
  • Consistently supporting a common standard for sustainability reporting and effectively communicating the value of ESG information to investors helps drive enhanced disclosure.
  • Local stock exchange listing requirements played a key role in driving ESG risk-management reporting and transparency.
  • Different markets require different engagement strategies, but the underlying objective should be the same— to achieve consistent corporate reporting of ESG risks and opportunities.

The full report can be found at: http://ussif.org/projects/iwg/documents/EMDP2012.pdf

Press release: http://ussif.org/news/releases/pressrelease.cfm?id=194

Calvert Investment Management, Inc., 4550 Montgomery Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814



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