The Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) has announced the launch of its Center for Ratings Excellence (CORE) Program — designed to accelerate the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the global financial markets.
In 2014, sustainability-oriented assets under management eclipsed $20 trillion, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. These investments are shaped by a growing market for sustainability research and ratings from more than 100 organizations covering more than 50,000 companies on approximately 10,000 performance metrics.
There has been an evolution of measurement and disclosure principles for purposes of ESG performance rankings — including the question of driving more transparency — in an effort to help companies trying to understand the complex ESG research and ratings landscape.
This glut of sustainability information has led to what some call “survey fatigue”, which CORE is designed to help alleviate.
CORE encompasses four strategic workstreams:
Framework: As the foundation for CORE, the Framework includes GISR’s Principles for ratings excellence, and an associated Accreditation program to encourage transparency, rigor and usability.
Hub: The first searchable online database of ESG ratings products enabling investors to make informed decisions on the ESG ratings and research best suited to their needs.
Labs: Cutting-edge research and development activities that create new knowledge and enhance the theory and practice of ratings. GISR already has scheduled two Labs, both of which will be announced during 2015.
Convenings: In-person and online events to foster shared learning and dissemination of best practices among raters, investors, companies and other stakeholders.
The CORE Program was developed with the support of leading ESG ratings and research firms, including CDP and Vigeo, whose products will represent the first entries in CORE’s online ratings Hub. By visiting this database, investors, companies and consumers will be able to search for and compare among hundreds of sustainability ratings products.
As part of its collaborative practice, GISR also is inviting companies and investors to join its Stakeholder program. UPS recently joined this group, which also includes Deutsche Bank, Pax World Fund, Bloomberg LP and The Walt Disney Company.