This Week’s Tech and Tool News: S&P DJI Develops Climate Transition Index

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including the Reporting Exchange, Workiva, MarketAxess, WeSustain and Diginex Solutions.

Index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) has been selected to develop an EU climate transition index to serve as a performance benchmark for four of the German federal government’s Federal Special Pension Funds. The S&P ESG Eurozone 60 Bund-SV Index is a customised index which incorporates the minimum standards for EU Climate Transition Benchmarks, as outlined in the Low Carbon Benchmarks Regulation, and is aligned with the Paris Agreement. As part of the country’s sustainability goals, the German government is aligning its pension fund investments with its efforts to curb global warming to no more than 1.5°C. S&P DJI has also launched New Zealand’s first carbon efficient indices in partnership with the New Zealand Exchange (NZX). The two new indices, S&P/NZX 50 Carbon Efficient Index and S&P/NZX 50 Portfolio Carbon Efficient Index, utilise S&P Trucost’s environmental dataset to weigh companies listed on the NZX according to their carbon intensity and sector impact. The indices are designed to incentivise NZX-listed companies to compare their carbon intensity to industry group peers around the world.

The Reporting Exchange, a global platform for corporate ESG reporting, is being transferred to sustainable finance solution provider Arabesque to leverage the firm’s technological and data intelligence capabilities. Launched in 2017 by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, CDSB and Ecodesk, the Reporting Exchange was established to provide decision-useful information on companies´ material ESG issues to multiple stakeholders, including investors. “The rapid increase in ESG regulation on a global scale has highlighted the need for technology-based, scalable and quantitative data solutions for corporates and investors. We are delighted to be partnering with WBCSD and taking over The Reporting Exchange and look forward to enhancing the platform’s capabilities as a leading ESG data resource for all market stakeholders,” said Daniel Klier, incoming CEO of Arabesque S-Ray.

US-based SaaS provider Workiva has launched an end-to-end cloud-based solution aimed at helping corporates meet growing demand from regulators and institutional investors for transparent data and proof of ESG-related business goals. Key features include automated collection of data via direct connections with source systems, consolidation across reports and XBRL tagging for greater transparency and accountability. “There is a powerful motivation for organisations to report ESG data alongside the balance sheet to provide a broader company valuation. Workiva is uniquely qualified to deliver innovative technology solutions that enable global organisations to make sense of the complex ESG ecosystem and achieve greater transparency and accountability,” said Julie Iskow, COO.

MarketAxess, a fixed-income trading platform operator and post-trade services provider, has launched its Diversity Dealer Initiative, a series of technology enhancements designed to enable leading buy-side institutions and minority-, women- and veteran-owned broker-dealers to more easily trade with one another. The functionality leverages MarketAxess’ anonymous all-to-all Open Trading marketplace and provides enhanced trading connections by allowing investor clients to select a diversity dealer to intermediate transactions. The Open Trading network provided institutional participants with over US$16 billion in daily notional volume in 2020. Pilot participants include Loop Capital Markets, R. Seelaus, BlackRock and AllianceBernstein. “Expanding market access for women-led organisations is a challenge, one that is only possible to overcome with thoughtful use of technology,” said Annie Seelaus, CEO of R. Seelaus.

German ESG software provider WeSustain has been acquired by Cority, a Toronto-based enterprise SaaS provider specialising in environmental, health, safety, and quality management solutions. Cority’s customers include ExxonMobil, Pfizer, NASA, United Nations, Walmart, and Airbus. A specialized software developer with clients including ThyssenKrupp, McKesson, Merck, Commerzbank, WeSustain’s GRI-certified SaaS solutions span ESG, sustainability, compliance, and impact management – enabling integrated ESG and corporate sustainability management across the enterprise from a central platform. “We’re convinced that smart digital solutions have an essential role to play in enabling our clients to fulfil their potential for greater efficiency, innovation, and positive impact; and to build trust through greater transparency surrounding what they do,” said Dr. Manfred Heil, CEO, WeSustain.

Diginex Solutions has launched DiginexESG to help companies of all sizes and reporting experience make their ESG reporting faster, easier and more affordable. The platform also enables large organisations to collect ESG data in their B2B client network, allowing them to make more educated decisions around risk, lending, and value. Following a soft beta launch in January, DiginexESG is properly live with over 30 global customers. DiginexESG is aims to provide an accessible and affordable digital platform that lowers the barrier to entry to ESG reporting for all organisations. It is a GRI-certified blockchain-enabled reporting tool which provides a single resource for an organisation to record, report and verify its data with full transparency and security. DiginexESG has already seen application in 12 different markets including the US, UK, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Singapore and Chile.

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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