New partnership WICI-WBCSD advances management and reporting for intangibles

Published: 1 Dec 2017
Type: News

Tokyo, Japan, 1 December 2017: Today at the 10th World Intellectual Capital/Assets Initiative (WICI) Symposium in Tokyo, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the WICI Network signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), agreeing to collaborate towards better reporting on intangibles, such as intellectual/organizational, relational and human capital, and the role of sustainability in creating value.

“Much of a company’s value isn’t reflected on the balance sheet – it’s made up of intangibles like reputation, brand, intellectual capital and sustainability performance,” said Mario Abela, Director of WBCSD’s Redefining Value Program.

Because of this, intangibles and sustainability are intrinsically linked and interact in value creation processes. Investors and the financial markets understand the value of intangibles – such as intellectual capital – but the importance of sustainability in creating value is not as well understood or accepted.

The WBCSD/WICI partnership is an important step forward. It is an effort to bring sustainability into the mainstream by highlighting the importance of all factors that add value to a company – including non-financial factors.

The collaboration will regard a wide array of topics and issues dealing with the definition of sustainable value creation and the role of the different classes of intangibles. Amid others, one of the areas for collaboration will include working with industry investors to develop indicators for key intangibles across sectors in the perspective of identifying material value creation drivers.

“We talk about the business case for sustainability, but the case isn’t as clearly articulated as it should be,” said Rodney Irwin, Managing Director of WBCSD’s Redefining Value Program. “This new collaboration will connect sustainability professionals to the people who drive the intangible value of business – with an eye to pushing sustainability into the mainstream.”

“It is well known that today investments in intangibles have overtaken those on tangibles, and that the vast majority of company value is linked to intangible resources. WICI is the only global organization that for the last ten years has been working to address this difficult but crucial area of intangibles reporting by developing an International Framework and several industry-based KPIs. We are delighted about this close partnership with WBCSD that will foster new advances in the field of reporting on sustainable development and, ultimately, organizations’ value creation“, said Prof. Stefano Zambon (PhD, LSE-London), Global Chair of WICI.

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