Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

ESG stands for “the environmental, social and governance criteria that are used by investors and other stakeholders to assess a company’s impact, value and potential for investment, risk and opportunities,” says Claudia Hauser, worldwide capital markets solutions director for Microsoft Financial Services. As these metrics gain prominence in investment analysis, risk management and decision-making processes and regulations, financial services organisations need to consider how best to compile them and how to embed them into operational processes. “While there is no globally agreed definition of ESG nor global standard for its reporting, there are several frameworks and guidelines for companies to report their ESG performance,” says Hauser. “Some of the most widely used frameworks include the Global Reporting Initiative, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s requirements and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. These provide guidance on how companies can measure and report their progress over time in a consistent and transparent manner.” As the largest company in the world, with a market capital of more than $3 trillion, Microsoft has a strong commitment to sustainability and shares its progress with stakeholders and customers. It uses a variety of reporting metrics to measure its performance including carbon emissions, energy usage, water consumption, waste generation and employee diversity. A few years into its own journey, Microsoft is committed to helping its customers and partners to move towards a more sustainable future. “Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and Sustainability Data solutions on Microsoft Fabric help financial services firms to unify all their data, including ESG data, into a single lake-centric and open data estate for all their first and third party data sources for a single Claudia Hauser explains how technology by Microsoft and its partner ecosystem is enabling a more responsible financial services industry BY ALICE CHAMBERS FEATURE Bankingon sustainability 86