BSR, which describes itself as “an organization of sustainable business experts that works with its global network of the world’s leading companies to build a just and sustainable world,” recently announced the launch of the Sustainable Public Equity Offering Framework. This new framework is described as follows:
The SPO Framework aims to apply well-established ESG principles to address a specific gap in today’s financial markets for companies who are transitioning from private to public or are newly public. A SPO is intended to identify public equity offerings by companies with ESG profiles that have been assessed by one or more independent third-parties as having satisfied objective and clearly defined ESG criteria. It is our hope that the creation of the SPO Framework will further focus attention on the fundamental importance of sustainability in business, and particularly in the public markets, and will provide a valuable tool for companies, investors and other market participants in their efforts to facilitate and support sustainability and ESG practices.
The criteria applied to issuers under the SPO Framework is based on six specific topic areas: ESG rating, mission and purpose, climate and environment, value chain, people and governance. In order to qualify as an SPO, one or more independent third parties assesses the issuer’s compliance with the Issuer Criteria, and a report is issued confirming that the issuer has satisfied the relevant Issuer Criteria prior to the completion of the IPO.
-Dave Lynn, TheCorporateCounsel.net September 8, 2021