ISO Readies UK launch of Sustainable Finance Standard

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by KnowESG
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One of the top experts at the British Standards Institution (BSI) has revealed that they are working alongside the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) to create a revolutionary sustainable finance standard that is expected to make waves in the industry.

The ISO is an independent, non-governmental organisation consisting of 165 national standards bodies. Its members, experts in their respective fields, collaborate to develop voluntary, consensus-based, internationally recognised standards that promote innovation and tackle global challenges. ISO's sustainable finance standard, which is being developed as part of its global sustainable finance workstream, is its flagship standard.

Hayden Morgan, a sustainable finance expert at Pinsent Masons and the global ISO convenor since 2019, has led a team of experts from 26 participating countries and 18 observer countries to create this standard. Morgan has stated that the ISO's sustainable finance standard, which was first introduced as part of the UK government's Green Finance Strategy, is a significant accomplishment that acknowledges the interdependent relationship between global sustainability and financially successful financial institutions.

“The standard is designed to support organisations in the financial sector to navigate the increasingly complex landscape of emerging sustainability initiatives. While this can seem like an unwelcome administrative burden or cost, responding to these challenges could present the ‘growth opportunity of the 21st century’, as demonstrated by the recent UK ‘net zero’ review. To thrive in this changing landscape, firms have no option but to engage in sustainability matters. They will need to evolve and adapt business models and strategies to respond to these shifting market forces at a pace and scale previously not experienced,” said Morgan.

“This new international standard supports the integration of key principles of sustainability into operations, activities, products and services. When the standard is implemented, organisations can demonstrate alignment with key sustainability principles using good practice guidance, and achieve real-world outcomes and commercial success,” Morgan said.

He added: “It is one of the first global standards to approach sustainability from an integrated and holistic perspective to enhance organisational performance and deliver real-world sustainable outcomes over time. The sustainable finance principles are aimed at supporting organisations in aligning their business strategy and operational performance with sustainability goals and objectives that are material to the organisation and its stakeholders.”

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Source: Pinsent Masons

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