Global Thresholds and Allocations Council
= "to establish an authoritative approach to reporting economic, environmental and social performance in relation to generally accepted boundaries and limits".
"The r3.0 Platform proposes the formation of a multi-stakeholder Global Thresholds & Allocations Council (GTAC), to establish an authoritative approach to reporting economic, environmental and social performance in relation to generally accepted boundaries and limits. GTAC will operate as a partnership between leading organizations and individuals from science, business, investment, government, and civil society focused on assessing and validating methodologies for allocating fair shares of responsibility to organizations for their impacts on the stocks and flows of capitals – natural, human, social and other resources – within their carrying capacities. Building on extant efforts to establish science-based targets, GTAC will accelerate progress toward contextualizing company disclosures commensurate with the ecological, social and economic urgencies facing societies and companies alike in the coming decades.
The GTAC will:
- 1. Identify thresholds & norms for sustaining the carrying capacities of systems-level capital resources in the commons that are vital to stakeholder wellbeing, based on a comprehensive review of research in physical and social sciences and practice in the field.
- 2. Design and validate allocation methodologies that apportion fair share responsibility for jointly preserving and enriching capital resources vital to stakeholder wellbeing.
- 3. Disseminate consensus-based thresholds/norms/allocations with “off-the-shelf” ease-of-use in mind to facilitate global mainstreaming of such practices."
"GTAC has refined the definitions from the UNEP report as follows:
● Thresholds define the upper and lower limits of the carrying capacities of vital capital resources (natural, human, social, constructed, economic), which must be produced and/or maintained in order to ensure stakeholder well-being;
● Allocations apportion to organizations or other human populations fair, just and proportionate shares of the responsibility to produce and/or maintain vital capitals at no worse than threshold levels." (https://www.r3-0.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/R3-GTAC-ConceptNote-Final-1.pdf)
Sustainability Context as key concept
"The inextricable link between the ecological and social systems’ health (or “illth,” as represented in these boundary-crossings) on the one hand, and organizational impacts on the other hand, lies at the heart of the Sustainability Context Principle, first introduced in the Global Reporting Initiative’s second generation Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in 2002:
- "[P]lacing performance information in the broader biophysical, social, and economic context lies at the heart of sustainability reporting... This will involve discussing the performance of the organisation in the context of the limits and demands placed on economic, environmental, or social resources at a macro-level (emphasis added). However, despite the centrality of Context in sustainability reporting, the Principle remains conspicuously absent from almost all sustainability reports produced since then. A comprehensive 2017 study examined 40,000+ sustainability reports released since 2000, and found only 0.258% of companies (31 of 9,000) disclosing their environmental impacts in the context of ecological limits — including strategies for meeting these limits. And only 5% of reports in the study period cited ecological limits at all."
A 2015 UNEP report highlights two concepts as instrumental for applying Sustainability Context:
● Thresholds that demarcate the carrying capacities of vital capital resources (natural, social, human, constructed, financial) and therefore divide sustainable from unsustainable performance;
● Allocations that apportion to companies fair shares of responsibility and accountability for their positive and negative impacts on common capital resources that are vital to stakeholder wellbeing.
That same year, the United Nations agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals, which identify a series of social, environmental and economic systems in danger, and propose trajectories toward sustainability. For companies to contribute to the fulfillment of the SDGs, they will need to translate them into business-relevant thresholds and set fair, just and proportionate allocations for their responsibilities.
The report contains two key recommendations pertaining to Sustainability Context:
● All companies should apply a context-based approach to sustainability reporting, allocating their fair share impacts on common capital resources within the thresholds of their carrying capacities;
● Multilateral organizations should collaborate to create a global governance body of scientists, academics, business practitioners, NGOs and other stakeholders to provide guidance on methodologies for determining ecological (and social) thresholds, as well as guidance on approaches to allocations, all of which are broadly applicable to the business level. This proposal advances UNEP’s second recommendation as a vehicle for fulfilling its first – as well as fulfilling the SDGs."
- Learn more about the key concept of Thresholds and Allocations