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Substantive Research Releases ESG Provider Dashboard for Buy-Side Firms

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Substantive Research has released ESG Provider Dashboard, a solution designed to help asset managers compare different aspects of ESG data providers and draw up shortlists of companies that meet their needs for ESG data and analytics. The dashboard covers about 100 data providers and is expected to host towards 150 next month as it expands in response to increasing numbers of ESG data sources.

The dashboard maps ESG data providers and is frequently updated to give users objective comparability in areas such as the number of companies a provider covers, the number of metrics and data points it offers, data frequency and formats, costs, and whether a provider supplies raw data, or offers free trials.

Substantive Research has also created ESG reporting frameworks that tag data providers matching a list of 24, and growing, ESG protocols including the Carbon Disclosure Project (CPD), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), EU Taxonomy, and Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).

“Taking third party rankings of underlying ESG datasets is not what clients wanted from us, and there is scepticism about ESG data comparisons in the investment community unless clients can truly apply their specific use cases,” says Mike Carrodus, CEO at Substantive Research. “We take a practical and agnostic approach to carrying out due diligence and mapping the ESG data provider market to help buy-side firms identify companies of interest. The dashboard is about mapping rather than ranking providers, and discovering data – we don’t interrogate the data.”

ESG data providers already covered by the dashboard tend towards those providing innovative solutions with domain expertise in a particular area and applying sophisticated analytics to ESG data to discover new insights. These include providers such as ESG Analytics, which uses an AI data engine to surface insights from ESG data; and Evalueserve, which uses what it calls a Mind+Machine methodology to gain insights from data that can drive business value.

Sustainable Research is also working to include some of the largest encumbent ESG data providers in the dashboard, although many of the asset managers it works with already source data from these providers and are looking for alternative or complimentary data and insight that can help them differentiate in an increasingly competitive market.

The ESG Provider Dashboard builds on Substantive Research’s platform that monitors and curates investment research, and is offered on a subscription basis. It is already in use by some of the company’s 70 asset management clients and more are expected to follow, with firms that are new to ESG investing using the dashboard to search the data provider landscape, and those with experience in the ESG space using it to monitor and map data providers entering the market and existing providers offering new products and datasets.

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