- Companies join forces to drive the market to have more information related to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ASG) criteria from securities issuers.
- Greater dissemination of corporate sustainability practices allows us to identify the implications of how business is conducted in the economy, environment, and society; as well as to assess the impact of these criteria on their financial performance, and thus strengthen decision-making with sustainable criteria.
- This initiative commits investors and companies in the Colombian market to be regional benchmarks in promoting sustainable development.
Bancolombia, SURA Investment Management, Protección and other allied entities, such as signatories of PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment), an international investor organization supported by the United Nations, came together to work towards solutions to sustainability challenges and how organizations today take investment decisions under ASG criteria.
With the announcement of the “Request for the Disclosure of Environmental, Social. and Corporate Governance (ASG) Information to Public Issuers in Colombia” they invite investors and entrepreneurs to hold themselves to the highest economic, social and, environmental standards in the face of the global agenda.
The initiative was presented at the close of the Responsible Investment Conference held between June 29 and July 1, and was a space for discussion on the relevance of establishing actions that promote respect for human rights and the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
One of the conclusions of the meeting is that current environmental and social challenges require collective action, and the role of companies and investors is essential to promote solutions, and to build a vision for the future based on sustainability.
The main reason that led these entities to generate the request was the need for public and comparable ASG information that makes it possible to analyze the sustainability practices of companies and their integration into investment decisions. Although there are already companies that have been generating periodic sustainability reports based on international standards, this represents a great opportunity for those who have not yet joined, since out of 126 issuers in Colombia, only 44% of them report on sustainability following GRI standards*, 6% does under SASB standards** and 10% report TCFD*** recommendations.
For this reason, there is a need to have more public ASG information and to have symmetry in the issuers' report, the commitments and increasing intent of the population for sustainable investments and compliance with the principles acquired as signatories of PRI.
With this request, signatories recognize that the effort also comes from the role of investors, and are advancing efforts to strengthen their responsible investment capabilities.
Messages from the allies
Juan Carlos Mora, President of Bancolombia: “At Bancolombia we manage 1 trillion pesos in assets with environmental, social and corporate governance criteria, including gender perspective, which accounts for a genuine interest of investors in allocating their resources to initiatives aligned with these challenges. The main beneficiary will be the company that receives the positive effects of investor decisions. Amplifying that impact is in our hands, as well as increasing the number of companies that transparently disclose standard and comparable information for decision-making.”
Pablo Sprenger, CEO of SURA Investment Management: “We are aware that sustainable development in the country and the region goes hand in hand, which is why we declare our commitment to the integration of ASG criteria in asset management. We believe that greater transparency about corporate management allows us to identify risks and investment opportunities, and is the first step towards improving sustainability standards as a whole.”
Juan David Correa, CEO of Proteccion: “As a signatory of PRI, we are promoting not only the incorporation of environmental, social, and corporate governance principles in investment decision-making, but also the transparent transmission of information that allows us to see the status of issuers' progress. Participation in this initiative is part of our commitment to sustainable development, a cross-cutting element of the Protección business strategy, which establishes that financial returns are as important as environmental, social and corporate governance aspects.”
*GRI: Global Reporting Initiative.
**SASB: Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
***TCFD: Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures).