This Week’s Tech and Tools News: Moody’s ESG Data Solution for SDG Alignment

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including Moody’s ESG Solutions, ISS ESG, MioTech, Ogier Global, GRMA, IdealRatings and GreenCo.

Moody’s ESG Solutions has launched a UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) data solution, SDG Alignment Screening, to help investors to develop SDG-aligned investment strategies, funds, indices and reporting. The platform will provide data for 5,000 listed companies covering 300 data points, adopting a double materiality approach to both account for contributions that a company makes to the SDGs through products and services and the company’s impact on SDG progress. This follows the August launch of Moody’s Global Company Screening model, which assesses company performance against the standards of the UN Global Compact. “With less than a decade left to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, investors have a key role to play in providing the necessary finance to help meet the SDGs, which requires them to be presented as simple metrics. Our SDG Alignment Screening provides high-quality data, helping investors leverage the SDGs both as part of risk management and reporting frameworks, and as a capital allocation guide,” said Sabine Lochmann, Global Head of Moody’s ESG Measures.

ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), has enhanced its suite of EU Regulatory Solutions with automated portfolio reporting. Investors can now generate reports to facilitate compliance with EU Taxonomy and Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) reporting obligations, for example. As of August, the ISS ESG EU Taxonomy Solution covered 7,900 corporate issuers and 190 sovereign and supranational issuers. It’s expected this will increase to 60,000 issuers by the end of this year. “Navigating the complexities of the new ESG-related rules is now easier – upload your portfolio to ISS ESG’s online DataDesk platform and at the click of a button, get relevant and actionable insights regarding your portfolio’s regulatory compliance,” said Dr Maximilian Horster, Head of ISS ESG.

MioTech, an AI-based sustainability and data and solutions provider, has secured funding to expand and accelerate its product development for financial institutions. It has received investments from Moody’s, HSBC, ZhenFund among others. The firm aims to expand its technical solutions to help corporations with ESG data reporting, energy efficiency management and carbon reduction. Using AI-based technologies such as natural language processing, MioTech has reduced the difficulty of collecting and processing the underlying ESG-related data. “MioTech is committed to sustainable technology. With more world-renowned investors backing us, we look forward to scaling our technologies to serve more industries together with our investors and partners,” said Jason Tu, Co-Founder and CEO of MioTech.

Law firm Ogier Global has launched ESG Align to help asset managers remain up-to-date with ESG themes, terminology and regulatory requirements. It will serve as a useful compliance check for asset managers falling under new Hong Kong’s Securities and Future Commission (SFC) requirements, the firm said. From September, the platform will offer web-based training and an assessment module called Understanding Risk. Later in Q4 2021, the Compliance Check tool will be available as a demo, helping SFC-licensed fund managers create tailored action plans for managing ESG-related disclosure and risk management. “It is crucial for managers to be ahead of growing client and regulatory developments. We developed ESG Align with this challenge in mind – we wanted to support asset managers navigating the increasingly complex regulatory environment,” said Leonie Kelly, Head of Ogier Global’s Sustainable Investment Consulting.

FinTech and advisory firm GRMA will integrate IdealRatings global ESG data coverage and ratings with its Software as a Solution (SaaS) system for data aggregation, data curation and outsourced reporting. The partnership means users of the SaaS service will be able to include ESG data to inform their reporting. “Firms are struggling to obtain and manage ESG data and to perform necessary and complex ESG reporting in accordance with standards such as SFDR, the Global Reporting Initiative and UN-convened Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). We believe GRMA and IdealRatings are ideally suited to assist companies of all sizes to meet their ESG goals by leveraging IdealRatings’ extensive ESG data (which includes 350 ESG indicators for 40,000 companies representing 95% of global market cap) combined with GRMA’s extensive data management and reporting experience working with publicly-traded as well as private investments,” said Samuel Won, GRMA CEO.

In July 2020, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) mandated the integration of sound corporate governance and ESG policies into the initial public offering (IPO) process. In response, ESG advisory firm GreenCo will now offer an ESG advisory package for companies planning an IPO. The package will support IPO applicants looking to promote a high ESG standard with recommended planning and compliance measures, such as ESG reporting, policy development and target-setting.

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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