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Japanese ESG Professionals Start Activities to Establish the Organization for Standardization of ESG Data and Evaluation

ーContribute to the creation of a future where all decisions are based on sustainability promoting standardization of data/value measures and definitionsー

TOKYO, JAPAN, April 3, 2023/ -- Japanese ESG fintech start-up Sustainable Lab Inc., developing non-financial data platform "TERRAST", hereby announces that it started preparations for the establishment of the "Sustainability(ESG) Data and Evaluation Standardization Organization" (tentative name; hereinafter referred to as "the Organization") . We have begun discussions with the financial industry, including megabanks, relevant ministries and agencies, SME-related organizations, and other related companies and organizations. With the mission of "creating a future where all decision-making is based on sustainability," the Organization will standardize sustainability data and value evaluation scales and definitions. It plans to develop activities made to promote and disseminate sustainability data not only to listed companies and major corporations, but also to small and medium-sized enterprises as well as non-listed companies.

As interest in ESG/SDGs has grown in Japan in recent years, with large corporations and a steadily increasing number of small and medium-sized companies have started sustainability initiatives, though many issues have become apparent. In order to solve these issues, the Organization believes it is necessary to promote the development and circulation of practical aspects, as well as activities to promote in-house data development and disclosure on the part of companies in a standardized manner.

■Activities of the Organization
1. Activities to promote (through exchange of opinions and information among members) the standardization of sustainability data/value assessment scales and definitions to be used as criteria for economic activities
2. Activities to promote the internal development and disclosure of sustainability-related data among small and medium-sized companies as well as non-listed companies.
3. Presentation of a standard evaluation method based on global trends and activities to spread an aggregation and disclosure system based on this method in order to improve consistency and compatibility with global data and evaluation scales.
4. Activities to promote the infiltration of the data and evaluation standards through seminars, workshops, etc.

■Why the Organization is Started
In recent years, as interest in ESG/SDGs has grown, an increasing number of small and midsize companies have begun sustainability initiatives, but the following issues have appeared.

1. The evaluation axes of different rating firms for the same enterprise are different and inconsistent, although there are various ESG rating scores and data globally.
2. Scores and data are mainly intended for investors, so they are only available for listed companies, and are extremely limited to non-listed companies, small and medium-sized companies.
3. Although banks are expanding their efforts to enhance sustainability, such as Sustainability Linked Loan, each bank sets its own evaluation criteria, which makes syndication by a group of banks difficult and may impose an excessive burden on the corporate side.
4. Japanese companies' historical spirit for stakeholders, human capital management, and environmentally friendly technologies are expected to have potential to be evaluated in the global market in the context of ESG/SDGs, but there is currently almost no sustainability disclosure and evaluation system that small and medium-sized companies can use.

The Organization will work to accelerate sustainability disclosure throughout the Japanese corporate sector by targeting not only listed companies and issuers, which have already begun to disclose information, but also small and medium-sized domestic companies, including non-listed companies. Initially, we will promote the standardization of data and evaluations related to various sustainability assessments at banks, mainly within the banking industry, and promote the unification of these standards in the banking industry and among banks. We will also engage in industry standardization activities and conduct research and dissemination activities in line with the "the Code of Conduct for ESG Evaluation and Data Providers" published by the Financial Services Agency of Japanese Government.

We plan to establish a consortium and gather supporting members. We have already begun discussions with megabanks and other financial institutions, relevant ministries and agencies, SME-related organizations, ESG-related companies and organizations, vendors, etc., and have received support for the purpose of the establishment.

Sustainable Lab Inc.
+81 3-6869-3615
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