finance globe.jpg

Measuring the Social Dimension of Sustainable Finance

Measurement is often cited as one of the main challenges to advance the inclusion of social aspects in sustainable financing.

November 30, 2021 10:00 am - 11:30 am UTC+1

SDG Solution Space - Ground Floor, Av. de Sécheron 15, 1202 Genève

(Open to public)

With an offset in a number of themes under the ‘S’ (of Environmental, Social, and Governance or ESG), this Building Bridges Week workshop will invite participants to discuss how the finance and development community can collaborate to strengthen data design, collection, and usage of data for measuring the social impact of investments.

Organized by the SDG Lab and IISD, this workshop will kick-off with a short presentation to set the scene on the current topics and issues for measuring the social dimension of sustainable finance by Vincent Siegerink, OECD.

Following this, participants are invited to share their expertise, solutions, and any challenges they might face in their work on measuring impact on the `S`. The discussions will be structured around 5 themes, each one facilitated by a subject expert.

Thematic groups

Decent Work and Well Being
Moderated by Vincent Siegerink, OECD

Existing measures of the “Social” component of ESG measures do not adequately reflect the well-being of employees. Some interpretations of workforce-related social factors focus on a narrow set of risks, such as those related to workplace incidents or boardroom representation. Other conceptualizations focus primarily on qualitative information or on input or output indicators, rather than on the outcomes that really matter, and which can be measured. We will explore how we can go beyond a narrow approach and what type of employee well-being related information is relevant in the S dimension both from a financial materiality and a societal impact perspective.

Vulnerable workers
Moderated by Charlotte Lush, ShareAction

While data collection on the workforce is increasing, significant data gaps persist for some of the most vulnerable workers. Contingent workers and workers in the supply chain are often much less well understood, despite making up significant proportions of companies’ workforces, and being most at risk of poor working conditions and labor rights violations. Less direct employment relationships can make gathering data more challenging but doing so effectively is key to creating more sustainable companies and socially impactful investments.

Enabling inclusive and sustainable communities
Moderated by Johannes Schreuder, PeaceNexus

What is the contribution of business to societal wellbeing and how can it be measured? This group will explore practices, challenges, and opportunities for businesses to measure and determine the impact of their activities, products and services on the communities in which they operate. This includes how to measure impact, evaluate it, and whether it should always be quantified.

A holistic approach to measuring the ‘S’ and relating the ‘S’ to the ‘E’ and the ‘G’
Moderated by Lilach Trabelsi, Sustainability Scholar

We often take a “silo” approach when we think about and measure ESG outcomes, referring to the ‘E’, the ‘S’, or the ‘G’ in isolation. Yet, the different categories are linked. We would therefore like to expand our thinking. To do so, we will consider how measures of the ‘S’ are linked to measures of the ‘E’ and the ‘G’, thus starting to generate a more holistic view of organizational impact, which accounts for interlinkages and possible trade-offs and synergies between the three categories.”

Diversity and Inclusion, inclusion of people with disabilities
Moderated by Stefan Tromel, Senior Disability Specialist, ILO 

There is an increased commitment from the private sector to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities both as employees and consumers. This group will reflect on the benefits of this inclusion and examples of good practice. We will also look on how to measure progress of disability inclusion.

Workshop details