ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including RepRisk, MSCI, GIST, S&P Global, The Climate Service, Natwest Trust and Depositary Services and Diligent.
ESG-focused data science company RepRisk has been selected to provide ESG data and portfolio monitoring services to the Council on Ethics of the Government Pension Fund Global, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund. RepRisk won its first tender with the Council on Ethics in 2009 and the new contract extends the relationship to 2025. Swiss-headquartered RepRisk monitors the companies in the fund’s portfolio daily for issues such as severe human rights violations, particularly in relation to child labour, forced labour, and violations of human rights in conflict areas, as well as gross environmental degradation and corruption. Research provided by RepRisk will help the council to analyse and select cases of ESG violations that may lead to exclusion by the fund. “We are very excited to continue our work with the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, as the choices made by its Council on Ethics significantly influence how ESG issues are prioritised and managed globally,” said Nicole Streuli, RepRisk Executive Vice President of Operations and Research. “This is the fourth tender in a row RepRisk has won thanks to our unique research approach, extensive sources, language coverage, and highly-trained human analyst team – a true testament to our best-in-class ESG risk data.”
Data, analytics and research services provider MSCI is providing clients will access to Impact Data from GIST, which measures the value contributed by firms to natural, human and produced capital. GIST’s impact methodology uses scientific and economic modeling to provide a quantitative measure of the impacts of companies’ business operations on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in economic terms. GIST defines impact as the holistic change in wellbeing as a result of the activities of any business or enterprise. Built with causality modeling and utilising MSCI ESG Research performance data as inputs, GIST’s Impact Data estimates the economic value of any company’s impacts on the environment (natural capital impacts), on employees (knowledge, skills, and other human capital impacts) and on GDP (value-addition to produced capital). “We are pleased to welcome GIST to MSCI’s ESG and Climate data ecosystem. GIST’s robust data will allow our clients to measure and report on the extent their investments are contributing towards or subtracting from the achievement of the UN SDGs,” said Eric Moen, Head of ESG Products at MSCI.
S&P Global has acquired The Climate Service, a US-based provider of physical climate risk analytics for corporates, investors and governments, including the Climanomics platform, a tool for quantifying climate risk. The platform models physical risk, including extreme temperatures, drought, wildfire, coastal flooding, cyclone, and water stress, while also supporting clients with intelligence regarding transition risks including changing legal, regulatory, and market conditions. Outputs, including modeled transition risk and physical risk analysis presented in financial terms, are aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). “More than ever, investors and companies seek evidence-based insights, high quality data and advanced analytics to support the decisions driving their strategies linking sustainability and business performance,” said Dr Richard Mattison, President, S&P Global Sustainable1. “We are delighted to introduce the best-in-class offering of The Climate Service to S&P Global’s ESG solutions, bringing an additional layer of critical insight to our leading suite of climate analytics. Last April, S&P Global Sustainable1 was launched as a “single source of essential sustainability intelligence”, bringing together S&P Global’s resources and full product suite of data, benchmarking, analytics, evaluations, and indices that provide customers with a 360-degree view to help achieve their sustainability goals.
NatWest Trustee and Depositary Services has been appointed as the chosen depositary for Foresight Sustainable Forestry (FSF), a UK-listed fund which recently raised £130m for investment in UK forestry and afforestation assets. The fund is being managed by Foresight Group, an infrastructure and private equity investment manager specialising in ESG and sustainability-led strategies. Foresight manages over 300 infrastructure assets with a focus on solar and onshore wind assets, bioenergy and waste; its private equity team manages eight investment funds across the UK, supporting over 120 SMEs. FSF aims to directly contribute to the fight against climate change through forestry and afforestation carbon sequestration initiatives and will seek opportunities to preserve and enhance natural capital and biodiversity across its portfolio. It expects flotation proceeds to result in four million tonnes of carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere.
Diligent, a US-based specialist in SaaS-based governance, risk, compliance and ESG solutions, has acquired Insightia, a UK-headquartered data and information provider focused on shareholder activism, shareholder voting, and corporate governance. The merger will provide clients with access to “a rich ecosystem” of organisational risk assessments and data tools spanning board composition, executive compensation, supply chain due diligence, and ESG standards and frameworks. Diligent will explore potential solution integrations with Insightia, including adding activist investor alerts within its Boards application, enabling clients to better monitor susceptibility to activism. “Having access to the most comprehensive and relevant data facilitates better guidance and confident decision-making. That is why we are so pleased to bring onboard Insightia’s deep experience and market-leading intelligent analytics, particularly against the backdrop of a marketplace where shareholder engagement is rapidly evolving,” said Diligent CEO Brian Stafford.