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This Week’s Tech and Tool News: BlackRock, Apex Group, ISS, S&P DJI And More 

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector. 

BlackRock has boosted Aladdin’s sustainability reporting capabilities by partnering with sustainability analytics and data science platform Clarity AI through a minority investment. Other investors in the platform include Mundi Ventures, Founders Fund and Seaya Ventures. BlackRock will integrate Clarity AI’s capabilities with Aladdin, including building on the existing sustainability dataset by developing additional forward-looking sustainability analytics and models. This follows BlackRock’s launch of Aladdin Climate, which educates investors on how to understand and act on climate risk, allowing them to measure the physical risks of climate change and the transitional risks of a low-carbon economy on their portfolios. “As BlackRock makes sustainability its standard for investing, we are committed to raising the standards for ESG data and technology. We’re investing in new analytics and software in Aladdin and are also integrating capabilities from strategic partners like Clarity AI so clients can understand their investments’ social and environmental impact and risks,” said Mary-Catherine Lader, Head of Aladdin Sustainability at BlackRock.

Global financial services provider Apex Group has announced the launch of Invest Check, a tool aimed at helping financial market participants to collect data needed to comply with the upcoming EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (EU SFDR). Invest Check has been designed to simplify the process of regulatory alignment through data collection, which helps identify key gaps within collated ESG data. Invest Check is benchmarked against the standards defined by the SFDR rules. This follows the launch of Apex ESG Ratings & Advisory in 2020, which was designed to address the demand for ESG data. “The regulatory imperative to monitor, disclose and improve ESG data is already a reality for many, with the EU SFDR legislation looming large. We are excited to launch Invest Check and see it as a potential catalyst for behavioural change in the investment process by delivering ESG data in an efficient and usable format for asset managers,” said Andy Pitts-Tucker, Managing Director of Apex ESG Ratings & Advisory.

ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), has launched a dedicated EU Taxonomy Alignment Solution, which will offer over 400 taxonomy-specific screening factors using a five-step screening process. The five steps are: identifying the relevant economic activities; quantifying respective revenues; checking for substantial contribution; checking for significant harm; and checking for social safeguards. The platform will analyse investments against the six current taxonomy directives: climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation; sustainable use and protection of water; transition to a circular economy; waste prevention; pollution prevention; and protection of healthy ecosystems. “Preparing for the upcoming disclosure requirements will present a key challenge for investors in 2021 and beyond. ISS ESG has pioneered an innovative, dedicated EU Taxonomy Alignment Solution, which is the most comprehensive in the market. The solution provides full transparency with granular data and allows users to follow the assessment step-by-step and to customise the model according to their needs,” said Marija Kramer, Managing Director and Head of ISS ESG.

S&P Dow Jones Indices (DJI) and the Santiago Exchange have launched the S&P IPSA ESG Tilted Index, which joins the S&P DJI’s existing global ESG indices. Using a rules-based selection criterion based on relevant ESG principles, it measures the performance of the most liquid stocks listed on the Santiago Exchange, which will give investors core exposure to the Chilean equities market while simultaneously providing a boost in their ESG score performance. “By launching this new index we seek to encourage companies to manage ESG factors with the highest standards, while providing tools for better investment decision-making in order to boost the sustainable development of the market, and to allow Chilean issuers to position themselves globally,” said José Antonio Martínez, CEO of the Santiago Exchange.

Diginex Solutions has launched a SaaS solution for ESG data reporting. It is designed to better help corporates provide relevant ESG data to investors, executives, regulators and the wider public through a blockchain-enabled audit trail. “DiginexESG is democratising sustainability by introducing an ESG tech reporting solution that is both highly scalable and affordable. We help companies overwhelmed by sustainability data provision requirements navigate a complex reporting landscape in accordance with global reporting frameworks, making it simple, cost-effective and digital. We are truly pleased by the significant traction our platform is generating from early customers and partners globally,” said Mark Blick, CEO of Diginex Solutions.

The practical information hub for asset owners looking to invest successfully and sustainably for the long term. As best practice evolves, we will share the news, insights and data to guide asset owners on their individual journey to ESG integration.

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