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04 April 2022       Albourne

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As the investment management industry strives to adapt to the increasing momentum of Sustainable Investing, the speed with which ESG-related acronyms appear to be emerging may be disconcerting to many. To help navigate the maze of acronyms, this paper presents a typology of acronyms of organizations or initiatives that aim to contribute to the Sustainable Investing space.

  • UN-Related Organizations and Initiatives - Several of these initiatives have been originated by the United Nations, which, given the organization’s mission, is seen as a first mover in the Sustainability space. 
  • Investment Industry Organizations and Collaborations - These have also responded to investor interest in ESG, either by leveraging the existing membership groups or by forming new collaborations with specific objectives. 
  • Sustainability Reporting Organizations and Initiatives - Several organizations have been formed to establish standards for sustainability reporting, an area of historical inconsistency in terms of format, depth, and quality of information presented. 
  • Climate-Related Organizations and Initiatives - There are also organizations that specifically aim to tackle climate change, although in varying ways. Some may focus on advocacy, others on reporting, while some focus on carbon measurement. 
  • Impact-Related Organizations and Tools - Lastly, several organizations aim to establish best practices and create investor tools for impact investing.

A non-exhaustive list acronyms falling within these categories are listed in Table 1 below. Please refer to the Glossary at the end for an expansion of the acronyms and links to the organizations and initiatives. 

Table 1 - Typology of Acronyms

Subsequent whitepapers will aim to provide more in-depth discussion on the relevance and application of the various frameworks and tools that have been created by the organizations noted in this paper. 



UN-Related Organizations and Initiatives

  • PRI: Principles for Responsible Investment
  • UN SDGs: UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • UNGC: UN Global Compact
  • UNDP’s SDG Impact: United Nations Development Programme’s Sustainable Development Goals Impact
  • UNEPFI: United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative
  • NZAOA: UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance

Investment Industry Organizations and Collaborations

  • ILPA: Institutional Limited Partners Association
  • AIMA: Alternative Investment Management Association
  • SBAI: Standards Board for Alternative Investments
  • CFA Institute: Chartered Financial Analyst Institute  
  • The Investor Forum: UK investor collective on stewardship
  • ICGN: International Corporate Governance Network 
  • ICSWG and ICSWG (US): Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group European and US Chapter
  • ESG Data Convergence Project: GPs and LPs collective
  • Diversity Project: Membership organization that initiated the Asset Owner Diversity Charter  
  • RIA (Canada): Responsible Investment Association (Canada)
  • RIAA: Responsible Investment Association Australasia 
  • GRESB: Global ESG Benchmark for Real Assets

Sustainability Reporting Organizations and Initiatives

  • GRI: Global Reporting Initiative  
  • SASB: Sustainability Accounting Standards Board 
  • IIRC: International Integrated Reporting Council
  • VRF: Value Reporting Foundation
  • IFRS Foundation: International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation
  • ISSB: International Sustainability Standards Board
  • WEF-IBC Initiative: World Economic Forum - International Business Council Initiative

Climate-Related Organizations and Initiatives

  • TCFD: Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures  
  • COP26: 26th Conference of the Parties
  • SBTi: Science Based Targets initiative 
  • CDP: Climate Disclosure Project
  • CDSB: Climate Disclosure Standards Board
  • GHG Protocol: Greenhouse Gases Protocol
  • IIGCC: Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
  • IGCC: Investor Group on Climate Change (Australia)
  • AIGCC: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change
  • Ceres Investor Network: North American investor group on climate change 
  • NZAMI: Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative
  • iCI: Initiative Climat International  
  • ShareAction: Key proponent of Investor Decarbonization Initiative
  • PCAF: Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials
  • WBCSD: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Impact-Related Organizations and Tools

  • IMP: Impact Management Project
  • GIIN: Global Impact Investing Network
  • IRIS+: Impact Reporting and Investing Standards+
  • OPIM: Operating Principles for Impact Management
  • B Lab: Beneficial Lab
  • III: Impact Investing Institute
  • PFP: Pensions for Purpose
  • IWA: Impact Weighted Accounts
  • SROI: Social Return on Investment
  • Nesta: UK innovation think-tank  

Jennifer Kizilbash Galang - April 2022

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