The Problem with ESG Data
Despite its devastating effect across the globe, the COVID-19 crisis has been credited with reigniting our collective social conscience and with it our interest in environmental protection, fair and equitable treatment for all, good governance and long-term sustainability.
The term ESG has been mainstream for the last decade, with investor appetite taking greater account of sustainable value. The events of 2020 have accelerated that interest, with proven links between a company’s ESG performance and its profitability.
This has led to an explosion in demand for ESG data from boards, investors, shareholders, lenders, employees and consumers. Added to this demand are requirements from the raft of new regulations, not least of which is the EU Taxonomy on ESG.
Multiple new vendors of ESG data and research have entered the data market across the last year, along with new ESG tools and technologies. With the barriers to entry relatively low, the data that is offered is frequently inconsistent and biased.
Whilst ratings agencies with trusted brands have plugged a gap in the market, a disparity between indices has raised questions around data gathering methodologies and, at a basic level, the accuracy and validity of ESG data itself.
As demand for high quality ESG data grows more urgent, our client, data quality platform gather360 posed the question ‘What does good ESG data look like?’
To address this question, it commissioned Catalina Consulting to deliver a panel discussion featuring; Killian Buckley, Independent Director & Strategic Advisor, Martello Advisory; Andrea Lennon, Director, FundRock Management Company S.A; Eimear O’Dwyer, Partner, Maples Group; Suzanne Lock, CEO, EOSE; Paolo Casamassima, Head of Global Market Intelligence, Orient Capital; and Thomas Russell, CEO, gather360. Following this discussion, we developed a white paper, which can now be viewed here.