Climate Action

Emerging stronger - Part 2: Practical action to improve sustainable investment data

In Part 2 of this Emerging stronger series, Mike Tyrrell looks at improving sustainable investment data, ratings and research practices.

  • 05 May 2020
  • Mike Tyrrell

At SRI-CONNECT, we are very excited to have been appointed, as part of a research consortium to conduct a major study for the European Commission into the provision and use of sustainable investment data, ratings and research.

This study will inform the EC's Sustainable Finance Action Plan, Review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive and Green New Deal. More significantly, it could revolutionise the way that sustainable investment data, ratings and research contribute to mainstream investment decision-making.

Because of the far-ranging implications of the Study, we are conducting it with full transparency (and publishing what we already know and need to find out) and canvassing as many views as we can. Indeed, broad and deep interviewing of investors, companies and research providers of all types - across the sustainable investment value chain - is a fundamental part of our research process.

We need you…

… if you are the head of ESG / sustainable investment within an asset manager, asset owner or research provider (ESG agencies, sell-side brokers, credit ratings agencies and independent providers) or

… if you are an investor relations officer or CSR manager at a listed company that has dealings with … or expects to have dealings with ESG / sustainable investors in the near future

… to participate in this analysis of the sustainable investment data, ratings and research process by sharing your experience and ideas VIA HERE.

(…and if you are not a team head or someone with direct responsibility, but know someone who is, please 'like' this blogpost and forward it to someone who is. We need to spread the word)

Why bother?

In my personal view, there are five reasons why you might do this.

  • Because the European Commission has shown tremendous interest in the area of sustainable finance; sustained support seems likely (given the fit with the wider EU 2019-24 plan) and all of our dealings with the EC suggest that they are absolutely serious about getting to grips with this area and acting on the result
  • Because regulators often follow each other - such that what the EC does today, other regions may do tomorrow. So, wherever you operate, please help us inform the global direction of travel from the start
  • Because we're going to share what we find (subject to commercial confidentiality) with survey participants in a 'sustainable investment market intelligence' report … and we're going to find out a lot about the economics and dynamics of the sustainable investment value chain. (If you're serious about being involved in sustainable investment at any point in the next five years, you are going to want to read this report)
  • Because we are reliable, independent and transparent operators. We've been working in sustainable investment for 20 years. We love the industry but are not afraid to be critical of it. We believe that we are good people to be doing this work and we hope you will support us in our endeavours.
  • … because we will donate our EUR 20,000 fee to a COVID-19 support fund if you complete our questions online rather than waiting for us to dig out out and interview you by phone.

Why wait?

I have nothing more to add here. Why wait? The sooner we receive your answers, the sooner we can feed them into our findings a recommendations.

The research consortium

… is led by ERM/Sustainability and contains SRI-CONNECT, Hindsight Consultancy, Minter Ellison and Institutional Investor.

Important note:

The views expressed and practices deployed in the conduct of this research and determined by the research consortium alone. None of the information provided, arguments presented or practices used should be attributed to the European Commission and no inference should be drawn or endorsement implied of any of the ideas by the European Commission. This request for proposals contains the full extent of the European Commission's public views on this subject.