The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing provides grants to support IIRC, SASB merger

Source: The Tipping Point Fund, 12 March 2021

The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing (TPF), a donor collaborative vehicle with a mission of scaling the practice of impact investing, today announced that it would award a combined $500,000 in two grants to the International Integrating Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), nonprofit organizations working to globalize integrated reporting and sustainability disclosure, helping markets better assess the impact organizations make.

The funding will be used to support two key projects: (1) a series of publications from the IIRC to provide guidance to companies and investors on enterprise value reporting, including case studies for companies in specific sectors and (2) a strategic plan to support the merger of the IIRC and SASB into the Value Reporting Foundation, which will accelerate progress toward a global comprehensive corporate reporting system that delivers enterprise value reporting for companies, asset managers and investors.

The IIRC and SASB first announced their intent to merge into the Value Reporting Foundation in November 2020. The merged entity will create a credible, international organization that maintains the International Integrated Reporting Framework, SASB Standards and advocates for integrated thinking to ensure business leaders are holistically considering their approach to long-term value creation and impact.

The merger directly responds to calls from global investors and corporates to simplify the corporate reporting landscape, providing the market with a clear solution for communicating the drivers of enterprise value.

Both grants are part of the TPF’s data, metrics and measurement (DMM) portfolio, which is focused on funding organizations and projects working to provide greater clarity to market actors and ensure high standards of impact accountability. The TPF also funds public policy initiatives to enable or encourage more investors to enter the impact investing market.

The grants will support the development of two sets of deliverables:

  • The IIRC will develop a practical guide on what enterprise value reporting entails for companies and investors globally, and conduct an analysis and mapping of the six capitals that form the <IR> Framework with the five sustainability dimensions of the SASB Standards. The IIRC will also produce detailed case studies of leading companies to demonstrate the best practices of those reporting effectively about value creation.

  • SASB and the IIRC will develop a joint strategic plan for the merger of the two organizations into the Value Reporting Foundation. This strategic plan will enable the Value Reporting Foundation to develop its core mission and mandate as an organization and refine its objectives, supporting strategies and resources needed to fulfill its mission in the years ahead.

Both deliverables will be completed in 2021.

“Aligning on standards for impact measurement is the essential foundation upon which other data, metrics and measurement priorities in impact investing depend,” said Fran Seegull, Executive Director of the TPF and President of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance. “We are at a critical moment of opportunity to drive progress in enterprise value reporting given increasing market actor demand, the potential for regulatory action and the eagerness with which voluntary global standard-setters are now collaborating.”

“As we have tracked developments in global impact standards harmonization over the past year, these two organizations stood out for their field leadership and for their potential to unify the impact investing market behind a global standard,” said Jessie Duncan, Program Officer at the TPF. “With this funding, IIRC and SASB will be able to take their work to the next level and bring the impact investing market one step closer to a unified ESG reporting disclosure and standards system.”

“We are witnessing an awakening by leading market players of the vital role reporting and disclosure have in tackling the major issues facing us all today, as the impacts of the global pandemic, climate change and inequality continue to intensify. This funding from the Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing will help us provide much needed guidance in the market, driving a comprehensive corporate reporting system that will deliver effective, robust thinking and reporting towards sustainable development,” says Charles Tilley, CEO, IIRC.

“Around the world, there is incredible momentum to simplify the corporate reporting landscape. By merging into the Value Reporting Foundation, the IIRC and SASB hope to accelerate process toward a globally accepted corporate reporting system. Thank you to the Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing for supporting this important work at a pivotal time in the field’s evolution,” says Janine Guillot, CEO of SASB.

Launched in December 2019, the TPF is planning to issue RFPs in both public policy and DMM later in 2021.