Shareholder-Rights© in collaboration with EBRD, IFC, and UN agencies finalizes Environmental, Social and Governance Methodology (ESG) for SMEs, leading to work on sustainable development for “The Lebanon We Want”
Immediate Release – UNIC, Beirut, December 11, 2018 – As a final step in the consultation process, and in follow up to the bilateral discussions that took place with some UN Agencies, programmes and funds in Lebanon, a joint meeting took place last week during which Shareholder-Rights presented the final version of the ESG methodology.
Developed in collaboration with IFC, EBRD, and United Nations agencies in Lebanon, Shareholder-Rights’ ESG Methodology has become fully aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Guiding Principles, as well as international development funds’ investment expectations. Bilateral discussions were conducted in Lebanon with UNDP, the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), as well as with World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
“Businesses are a key partner in achieving sustainable development in Lebanon. This ESG methodology is a positive step towards an environmentally friendly, responsible and accountable private sector. I look forward to working with Shareholder-Rights in the next phases of this initiative”, said Philippe Lazzarini, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon.
Shareholder-Rights’ ESG Framework intends to assist Lebanese corporates in becoming more attractive to foreign direct investment, and commit to best in class practices in an ever-increasing globalized, vigilant, complex and connected investment environment. This initiative aims to trigger a healthy economic growth and a vigorous functioning of corporations. In the absence of a solid ESG framework in place, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), along with Family Owned Enterprises (FOE) are exposed to inherent risks, which strain their ability to preserve value or even to grow it.
Shareholder-Rights is looking to contribute to establishing solid structures in accordance with international best practices. This will allow SMEs to grow, mitigate risk, and attract investment. These businesses will be able to eventually consider listing on stock exchanges or regulated markets all while keeping their impact on the environment, society, community and shareholders’ rights in check.
“By demonstrating their commitment to best in class practices, Lebanese corporates will not only improve their risk posture and attract investment, but will be joining a movement of promoting Lebanon as a safe investment destination”, says Yasser Akkaoui, Founder of Shareholder-Rights.
Now that the consultation phase is concluded, Shareholder-Rights will be initiating the participatory phase of the project engaging with different syndicates, regulators and government agencies to help encourage corporations to adhere to best ESG corporate practices.
Shareholder-Rights© (www.shareholder-rights.com) is an online research and advocacy platform. With its integrity, objectivity and innovation, Shareholder-Rights’ goal is to be the primary destination for investors, shareholders and other stakeholders to have access to the insight which enables them to better assess ESG practices and thus strengthen their ability to make sound business and investment decisions. Our research provides investors with information that is vital to exercising their rights. We advocate and work alongside policy makers in our constant efforts to ensure shareholder rights and human rights protection.
About Shareholder-Rights ESG Methodology
From constantly evolving regulatory landscape and changing governance standards, to natural resource scarcity and global workforce management, there is an ever-increasing demand for Environmental, Social and Governance elements to be integrated into investment decision-making and stewardship. Our ESG Methodology is adapted to accommodate the corporation’s local laws and requirements, and to international regulatory trends. The objective of this work is to evaluate the level of impact a corporation has on sustainability, and help them identify ESG-related risks and opportunities. Based on our findings, we can then place practical recommendations to improve a corporation’s ESG practices and push beyond compliance boundaries. Our methodology is the ultimate tool to guide corporations to become socially responsible and run sustainable businesses, making them a safe investment destination.
Shareholder-Rights’ 68 proprietary ESG methodologies cover 17 industries of all sizes and offer a unique approach to stakeholder protection. Having been developed in consultation with the UN and its specialized agencies, as well as the international development investment funds, it provides corporates with the necessary tools and guidelines to align with UN Guiding Principles and investor expectations. Derived from the IFC, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), EBRD, UNDP, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UNIDO, United Nations Guiding Principles and Sustainable Development Goals, human rights and building on best international practices, the ESG Methodology is divided into 8 Environmental and Social Performance Standards and 7 Corporate Governance Standards that represent the backbone of our assessment tool.