The Value Commission brings together over 30 expert Commissioners from around the world to drive transparency and accountability across the application and use of value factors by organizations. The Commission will co-design and develop a set of clear and global transparency criteria spanning the creation and use of value factors and consolidate existing efforts into an open-access Value Database.
What is a value factor?
Value factors are an essential element for organizations to understand the value that they create, preserve, or erode across the capitals.
Developed based on assessments and studies, value factors help to translate the information that organizations collect across their operations and supply chains into actionable insights on the value of their impacts and dependencies across natural, social and human capital and enables them to make better-informed decisions that deliver value across the capitals.
Value factors have long been used to help organizations extrapolate the value that is created or eroded based on a decision they make. For example, when evaluating a decision that emits one tonne of carbon, using a value factor (e.g., $185 social cost per tonne of carbon) allows organizations to better calculate the associated health impacts and broader social cost. By using the value factor as a multiplier, they can gain valuable context (e.g., 50 tonnes of carbon x $185 = $9250 social cost). This approach supports better-informed decisions and a clearer understanding of impact and how to mitigate it.
Through the application of value factors across qualitative, quantitative, and monetary metrics, organizations can better understand the value that they are creating, preserving, or eroding and how this affects different stakeholders in a way that is consistent.
But, while value factors have the potential to be transformative, currently there is little transparency, accountability, or consistency in the way that these factors are developed and applied. The process used to calculate and implement them can be proprietary and opaque, and therefore confidence in results can vary significantly.
To ensure that decisions are taken based on the most accurate information available we need to ensure that value factors are credible and that the methodologies used to create and apply them are clear and transparent.
This is why the Coalition has convened The Value Commission. The Commission will co-design and develop a set of clear and global transparency criteria spanning the creation and use of value factors.
The Transparency Criteria are a detailed set of standards that can be used to improve user confidence in the application of a value factor. The criteria serve as a method to improve the flow of information between developers, users and stakeholders.
This transparency may be related to the scope of the decision they intend to inform, the methodologies used to create them, or the level of detail included in source data used to develop the factors, as well as how justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion were considered in their development. There are currently 53 criteria drafted around these and other broad themes.
The Commission will also guide the consolidation of existing efforts into an open-access Value Database, which will connect existing datasets and provide value factors that can be consistently applied by businesses, financial institutions, and governments. The Value Database is scheduled to launch in Q4 2025.
The Commission brings together over 30 of the key actors from around the world including those who develop, provide, apply, and regulate value factors.
It is a three-year collaborative project which is hosted by Capitals Coalition with the intention to hand it over to an internationally recognized third party after this time to act as its permanent host.
The Value Commission is now seeking public comment on the global Transparency Criteria. The consultation is open until 31 October 2023 and can be accessed via the ScribeHub platform here. A parallel piloting phase is also being carried out from September 2023. For information on pilot testing and how to take part can be found here.
Piloting will be carried out between September and October 2023. Volunteer organizations will apply the draft Transparency Criteria to how they use value factors to support their decision-making processes. Please contact Stephany if you would like to volunteer to pilot the draft Transparency Criteria. More details about the piloting requirements can be found here.
Consultative roundtables will be held in October 2023, these will bring together small groups of interested individuals to discuss specific aspects of the Transparency Criteria and their usefulness in decision-making. Please contact Stephany if your organization would like to join a roundtable.
Following this public consultation, The Value Commission will incorporate the feedback received and prepare the final draft of the criteria with the aim to launch the Transparency Criteria in January 2024.
Interested in this work? Sign up for project updates.