May 14, 2021
New ISO standard for assessing and reporting green finance activities

Climate change is a costly issue facing all of us. Not simply does managing the effects of global warming require huge funding, but more money is needed to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is thought that many trillions of dollars of investment are to be needed if the planet is to meet its net-zero carbon goals. 

Financing green, environmental issues, or investing in activities related to climate change, is seen as the answer, however, a more comprehensive and comparable assessment and reporting are essential to create a greater positive impact on the environment and attract further investment. Furthermore, it is an increasing regulatory requirement. A new standard has just been published to help. 

ISO 14097Greenhouse gas management and related activities – Framework including principles and requirements for assessing and reporting investments and financing activities related to climate change, helps financiers assess and report on their actions and see the real value of their contribution to climate goals. 

The framework specifies the principles, requirements and guidance needed. It is built around the “theory of change” strategy, which has the objective of defining what is needed for a long-term impact. ISO 14097 covers the effects of investment decisions on GHG emissions tendencies in the real economy, the compatibility of investment and financing decisions with low-carbon transition pathways and climate goals, and the risk on financial value for owners of financial assets (e.g. private equities, listed stocks, bonds, loans) arising from climate goals or climate policies. 

Massamba Thioye, Project Leader of the ISO group of experts that developed the standard, said green finance investments contribute both to the global effort to reduce GHG emissions, and to the sustainability and long-term profitability of the financial asset itself. 

“Financiers can divest from carbon-intensive activities to manage their exposure to climate-related risks, but, unless done widely, the impact on greenhouse gas emissions will be limited,” he said.  

“What will be more effective is if they undertake policy advocacy, engage with their investee organizations and use their influencing power to foster the greening of their investment plans. Therefore, it’s important for them to be able to measure the consequences of these actions on the GHG emissions of the organizations in which they invest. The key to success in green finance lies in transparency and measurement, which is what this standard is intended to facilitate.” 

Source: ISO