This Week’s Tech and Tool News: MSCI Tests Credibility of Firms’ Net-Zero Strategies

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including MSCI, Atos, SASB and Substantive Research.

Data, analytics and research services provider MSCI has developed a framework to assess companies’ decarbonisation targets against their net-zero goals. The MSCI Target Scorecard will use data from firms’ climate commitments to help investors judge the credibility of their decarbonisation targets. Approximately 35% of the MSCI ACWI Index – which includes 3,000 large and mid-cap stocks across 23 developed and 27 emerging markets – have committed to achieving net-zero CO2 emissions between 2021 and 2100. The MSCI Target Scorecard will evaluate a company’s climate goals across three key dimensions: comprehensiveness, ambition and feasibility. For the latter, MSCI will assess a company’s track record by comparing its expired original target emissions and the reported emissions in the target year, in order to indicate the level of confidence that targets will be reached. “Looking under the hood of companies’ targets, we found a high degree of heterogeneity even where targets first appeared to be comparable. This makes it difficult for institutional investors to assess the potential impact targets could have, if achieved, on the environment or on companies’ climate-risk profiles. The MSCI Target Scorecard is expected to be launched following a public consultation with corporate issuers and investors.

French IT services and consulting firm Atos has launched an end-to-end suite of decarbonisation services aimed at facilitating and accelerating firms’ net-zero strategies. Atos will offer the ‘A to Zero’ portfolio of services via a Global Net Zero Transformation Center of Excellence, located at nine new hubs across Europe, North America and Asia. The portfolio comprises three core offerings: business advisory services, which offer a holistic approach to net-zero transformation; digital green advisory and platforms, which help firms reduce emissions through digitised tools and services; and nature-based solutions, which focus on carbon-offset initiatives. “Our new offering benefits from our strong commitment and decades-long work of reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions and designing innovative, low-impact solutions,” said Atos CEO Elie Girard.

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has published an exposure draft of its proposed amendments to standards for raw materials sourcing in the apparel industry and is inviting comment up to 2 September. The project seeks to revise and clarify certain metrics and the associated technical protocols “to examine and improve measurability, completeness, comparability, alignment, and cost-effectiveness”. As well as requesting input on changes to qualitative and quantitative metrics, SASB asks for feedback on its decision not to expand the scope of raw materials sourcing disclosures to materials used in packaging. SASB is due to complete its merger with IIRC on 9 June.

UK based Substantive Research, a research discovery and expenditure analytics provider, has added ESG research providers to its offering for asset managers. The firm says it is responding to an increase in the number of ESG-focused research providers as well as the expansion of existing product offerings, which is making discovering, trialling and comparing new providers more challenging for investment professionals. Substantive Research’s ESG Provider Dashboard allows users to compare ESG research providers in key areas, including number of companies covered, range and update frequency data and metrics, alignment with reporting regimes and geographic or regional expertise. The ESG Dashboard will cover 150 providers in July.


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