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Investor group calls for global approach to sustainability reporting

Aviva Investors' London chief executive Paul Abberley will issue the call to action on behalf of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition (CSRC) at today's United Nations Private Sector Forum on Sustainable Energy for All, which is held in conjunction with the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly.

CSRC is calling on UN member states to adopt the global policy framework at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the 2012 Earth Summit, which is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, in June 2012.

The coalition believes the international policy framework should follow two overriding principles - transparency and accountability.

"Progressive companies around the world have come to understand that long term-value is enhanced by embedding long-term sustainability into their business strategy and by fully disclosing their progress to investors," Mr Abberley said.

"We believe that all corporate boards should be required to consider the future sustainability of the firm they govern. This should not only enhance long-term profitability and returns to investors, but also improve the quality of stock markets, increase macro financial stability and make a material contribution to the lives of those impacted by corporate activity."

Ernst Ligteringen, chief executive of the Global Reporting Initiative, added: "Pioneering companies have proven the business case for disclosing sustainability data: now is the time to ask the question 'Why don't you report?' Member states have an opportunity to drive us towards a sustainable global economy, by requiring that all large organisations report their sustainability impacts - either in a sustainability report, or integrated with financial data - or explain their silence."

CSRC represents financial institutions, professional bodies, NGOs and investors with assets under management of $1.6trn. It currently includes organisations such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, CA Cheuvreux, Generation Investment, Global Reporting Initiative and Hermes.