Emerging Markets Disclosure Project (EMDP) releases its final report, “Lessons Learned: The Emerging Markets Disclosure Project, 2008-2012 – October 15, 2012

On October 15, 2012 the Emerging Markets Disclosure Project  (EMDP) released its final report “documenting  a five year initiative championing greater transparency among emerging market  companies on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.”

A press release issued on the same day lists the following key activities of the EMDP:

  • “Established a model for collaboration to improve sustainability  reporting and practices in emerging and developing markets, which will be used by signatories to the United Nations (UN)-backed Principles for  Responsible Investment (PRI) in the years ahead.
  • Won the backing of 55 investors with more than $1 trillion in assets  under management.
  • Published four original research reports, documenting wide  disparities in sustainability disclosure practices in emerging markets,
    greatly varied knowledge of ESG risks, and a lack of understanding among companies of how investors use sustainability data.
  • Created a scorecard that enabled companies to benchmark their ESG  performance and EMDP participants to assess companies’ weaknesses in these  areas.
  • Formed four country teams with local and international partners in  Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and South Korea, which engaged 72
    companies on sustainability issues.
  • Achieved its core goal—increased and improved corporate  sustainability reporting in emerging markets.”

The EMDP’s accomplishments include the following:

  • “The Brazil country team contacted 102 companies and engaged 17 directly to encourage them to  improve their sustainability reporting. All 17 either had plans to issue  sustainability reports or were open to working towards this goal.
  • The team in Indonesia convinced a listed polyester and petrochemicals company, Indorama Synthetics, to learn more about ESG best practices
    and helped the firm identify and focus on several key sustainability  issues: energy efficiency, waste treatment and corporate governance.
  • The South Africa team won  reforms from Aspen Pharmacare  Holdings¸ Naspers, Sasol, Shoprite Holdings, Steinhoff International and Tiger Brands, including improvements in sustainability reporting  and policies.
  • In South Korea, the local EMDP team made steady progress on reporting with all 15 companies it engaged, including Hynix, LG Electronics, Samsung  and Shinhan Financial Group.”

EMDP Co-Chair and Boston Common Asset Management Managing Director Lauren Compere said, “The make  up of the country teams, which included international investors and local partners with knowledge of local customs, language and contacts with companies, proved a winning combination. In addition, the educational outreach to companies and other key stakeholders on how sustainable and responsible investors
use ESG information was critical to the project’s success.”

To download the press release, please click here.

To download the report, please click here.