04 June 2007

Investing: ISS Introduces Sustainability Risk Reports

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the world’s leading provider of corporate governance and proxy voting services, last week announced the launch of its global Sustainability Risk Reports database.

Drawing on an extensive set of over 400 environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, ISS offers in-depth company profiles rich with qualitative analysis and a relative scoring system to help investors assess a company's ESG performance and compare it against industry peers.

As environmental and social issues such as climate change, energy use, labor and human rights begin to assume a higher profile among mainstream investors, there is a need for more extensive sustainability considerations for deeper analysis.

Leveraging the analysis and scoring embedded in the ISS Sustainability Risk Reports enables investors to analyze the potential sustainability-related risks and opportunities of portfolio companies.

“Shareholders not only expect their asset managers to know whether companies are acting as good corporate citizens, but also to consider ESG performance when managing their portfolios,” said John Deosaran, ISS Vice President of ESG Analytics. “With ISS’ Sustainability Risk Reports database, investment managers can identify those ESG factors that best align with their client-driven mandates, and determine appropriate investment weightings, turning compliance priorities into a competitive edge.”

Building upon its proven corporate governance model introduced in 2002, ISS is the first to deliver a reliable, objective and transparent scoring system for environmental and social performance. The breadth of the ISS sustainability scoring factors encompasses key areas such as carbon emissions, energy use, labor standards and ethics. ISS also analyzes each company’s disclosure practices, adherence to ESG policies and its Board’s oversight of ESG issues.

Investment managers can leverage ISS reports and scoring model to identify sustainability-related risk in portfolio companies and to manage client-driven mandates related to environmental, social and governance screening.

“Investors are asking increasing numbers of companies to provide more information around their ESG efforts, yet disclosure practices vary widely,” added Deosaran. “To obtain a comprehensive picture, investors need a consistent framework to evaluate ESG practices."

ISS’ global coverage universe for its Sustainability Risk Reports database includes the S&P 500, TSX 300 and European MSCI EAFE companies.

To learn more about ISS’ ESG services: ESG.

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