Metrics & Standards
BENEFIT COMPANIES: THE LEGAL STANDARD
Equilibrium is a benefit company under Oregon’s law, and has been since the first day it was possible, January 2, 2014 (Press release).
A benefit company is one that accepts statutory responsibility to create general public benefit, and to consider its impact on its shareholders, employees, suppliers and customers, communities, society and the environment through its business, operations and decision-making processes. Benefit Corporation is a term used interchangeably with Benefit Company.
Benefit companies produce an annual benefit report. The reports are public. Here are ours:
B-CORPORATIONS: THE VOLUNTARY STANDARD
Equilibrium is a “Certified B-Corporation”, and has been since August, 2009.
The non-profit “B Labs” created structures and voluntary governance standards for companies dedicated to serving all of their stakeholders: shareholders, employees, suppliers and customers, the community, and the local, regional, national, and global environment.
We are a proud supporter of B-Labs, and members of our executive team have served on their board and been recognized for contributions to the success of B-Labs’ founding principles.
SASB (SUSTAINABLE ACCOUNTING STANDARDS BOARD)
SASB’s mission is to develop and disseminate sustainability accounting standards that help public corporations disclose material and decision-useful information to investors through rigorous evidence-based research and broad, balanced stakeholder participation.
While Equilibrium is not a public corporation, we support the concept SASB embodies: that sustainability reporting is part of financial disclosure, and material to consideration of financial reports.
We believe the development of the metrics and disclosure systems that allow investors to see, consider, and make informed decisions about risk from multiple sustainability factors in both private and public investment opportunities, will be key to the long-term outcome of our mission.
We also particularly value SASB’s dedication to practical implementation of principles we have long supported, such as those of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, as well as practical realization of recent policy developments, such as the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure.
In 2017, SASB initiated a new membership organization, the SASB Alliance. We joined the SASB Alliance with its opening group.
Equilibrium staff members were selected to participate in the first demo of the certification program, and we are participating in the further development of this standard, as well as supporting it through the Alliance.
UNPRI (UNITED NATIONS PRINCIPLES FOR RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT)
UNPRI is a set of principles supported by major international investment firms, who have recognized that effective research, analysis and evaluation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are a fundamental part of assessing value and performance of an investment. The principles reinforce the judgment that ESG analysis should inform asset allocation, stock selections, portfolio construction, shareholder engagement and voting. Equilibrium has been a UNPRI signatory in the past, and continues to support its six principles:
- Incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- Be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
- Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
- Promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry.
- Work together to enhance effectiveness in implementing the principles.
- Report on activities and progress towards implementing the principles.
Equilibrium was a member of the global committee to develop the G8 (later G20) set of recommendation for Impact Investing see report. Equilibrium was also on the US NAB (national advisory board) to develop the US recommendations that fed into the G8 recommendations see report. Equilibrium, as part of the US NAB to the G8, was part of the briefing program to help the US Department of Labor develop their 2015 clarification on ERISA and ESG.
Equilibrium has been a contributor to numerous sustainable finance responsible investments and impact investment industry reports including WEF, Credit Suisse, Cambridge Associates, McKinsey, etc. Additionally, Equilibrium has been invited to briefing at the White House on environmental finance and briefings to US Federal Agency leadership on the implications of markets for agency objectives and regulations.
Equilibrium has been, in the past, a Ceres Coalition member and is not currently active.
A non-profit advocate for sustainability leadership, mobilizing powerful networks of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres Coalition members engage with corporations and help advance the goals of building and strengthening global sustainability.
EQUILIBRIUM’S PLATFORM METRICS
Equilibrium tracks metrics specific to its own business. Here are those metrics as of the end of the 2016 calendar year:
Each Equilibrium strategy sector and fund also reports on metrics specific to their industry.