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Nasdaq Aims To Give Investors More and Better Information With The New ESG Data Hub.

One of the keys to successful Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is finding comprehensive sustainability data about the companies you want to invest in. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy. Companies tend to have vastly different methods of measuring ESG, and there’s still no industry standard governing how and when ESG should be reported to investors.

To help streamline the process, the Nasdaq stock exchange has launched the ESG Data Hub, which aims to connect investors with expert-led sustainability data sets and make it easier to find out how companies are performing against their ESG targets.

The hub, which launched in June, features a central database that provides consolidated access to ESG risk data on thousands of companies. The data sets are powered by leading-edge technology, with the added benefit of being connected to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The data sets cover a range of ESG focus areas – including diversity, carbon emissions and green bonds – and provide detailed and tangible intelligence on companies’ ESG profiles. The hub’s launch partners include the following:

  • Equileap: A provider of data and insights on gender equality
  • Ecogain: A Swedish knowledge-based biodiversity company
  • RepRisk: A pioneer in ESG data, specializing in reputational risk
  • Inrate: An independent Swiss sustainability rating agency, with expertise in carbon emissions
  • Upright Project: A Finnish data firm that quantifies the net impact of companies
  • Cleantech Group: A research and data provider focusing on renewable technologies
  • Munich Re: A leading global provider of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions, specifically relating to climate risk

Nasdaq’s decision to partner with leading experts across the ESG spectrum came in response to the growing demand for more specialized and high-quality data. The goal is to help investors make smarter and better-informed investment decisions.

“Together with our clients and data partners, I look forward to continuing building the ESG Data Hub, the latest addition to Nasdaq’s growing suite of products and services catering to both investors and corporates looking to support a more sustainable and inclusive capitalism,” James McKeone, vice president and head of European Data at Nasdaq, said in a press release announcing the hub.

Photo Courtesy Istvan Hernek

The launch of the ESG Data Hub followed the release of the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network Investor Portal, which lets investors access standardized and consolidated data in one centralized location. The portal also allows investors to generate impact reports, run allocation reports and find new sustainable investments.

The data hub itself builds upon Nasdaq Nordic’s ESG Data Portal, a centralized distribution point that gives investors access to standardized ESG data from Nordic-listed companies. Among the hub’s main benefits to investors is that it provides easy access to a wide range of unique and comprehensive ESG data sets, accompanied by detailed product descriptions and use cases.

The hub’s technology lets users access data across different formats, while the platform allows them to find data sets that answer specific SDGs. One aim is to encourage more investors to consider the impact of their investments. The data hub also allows access to the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network.

Photo Courtesy Karsten Würth

Meanwhile, companies that list on Nasdaq will be able to release their data directly into the portal, where it will be compiled by Nasdaq into standardized ESG metrics and then integrated by each company back into their portfolios and processes. The portal captures a wide range of actionable ESG data that companies can showcase to investors.

Nasdaq’s partners on the ESG Data Hub bring a wealth of experience and expertise. An example is Equileap, whose data has served as the foundation for billions of dollars worth of investment products worldwide. Equileap was founded in 2016 by CEO Diana van Maasdijk and Jo Andrews, both of whom are philanthropy and women’s rights experts.

Equileap uses the world’s first in-depth, cross-sector ranking system to assess and monitor more than 4,000 companies across the globe on gender equality. The company’s proprietary Gender Equality Scorecard is based on 19 criteria, including gender balance across the workforce, the gender pay gap, paid parental leave, and anti-sexual harassment policies. 

In a press release, van Maasdijk said the Nasdaq ESG Data Hub “reflects a growing interest in ESG data from investors who are looking to align their investment decision with their values. We feel confident that 2021 will be the year where the social ‘S’ in ESG gets the spotlight it deserves.”

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