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Service Providers Framework 2018

You are in Research and Data Provision » Research/process level

Research/process level

RDP 02. Sources for research and/or rating

02.1. Indicate the types of sources you use for research and/or ratings of companies/sectors/geographies or similar. Tick all that apply.

02.2. Indicate how ESG factors are incorporated into your research and/or rating methodology

02.3. Describe how you define materiality and how this is captured in your research and/or rating methodology as well as final product.

          Most of our research is on sustainability themes or commodities. In both these cases, the most material issues are quite evident. For example, we have a long history of research on palm oil value chain and risks involved in the production and trading of palm oil. We have also done many projects on human rights issues focusing on various sectors.

02.4. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]

RDP 03. Stakeholder input

03.1. Describe how you actively include inputs and information, wherever possible, from relevant stakeholders or interested parties, in the research process or in reaching assessment conclusions.

          We use sources (reports, press release and other news items) of NGOs to describe their concerns on a particular matter, their expectations from companies and their proposed solutions for conflicts or controversies that companies or other parties scrutinized are involved in. These NGOs are important stakeholders for the companies and financial institutions and their perspectives are valuable. They form the basis of our research.

03.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]

RDP 04. Up-to-date assessment and ratings

04.1. Indicate how you ensure that your ESG assessment of companies/ sectors/ geographies or similar is up-to-date and that new information is incorporated or new assessments are conducted at reasonable intervals.

          We offer customized research to our clients and we do not have any database. We conduct a review if it is demanded by our clients.

04.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]

RDP 05. Balanced research and assessment

05.1. Indicate how you typically ensure a balanced approach to your research methodology and assessing/rating of companies/sectors/geographies or similar. Tick all that apply and explain your approach to each option.

Type of indicators

Explain your approach

          Our research or assessment of any company or banks include qualitative and quantitative indicators. For example, for evaluating a company’s environmental commitment we look at their policies as well as the KPIs such as the trend of GHG emissions. A reducing trend of GHG emissions indicates that the company doesn’t only have a policy but also measures result and progress of its commitments. This approach is implemented on every theme that the company is being assessed on and gives a holistic view of its ESG progress.

Explain your approach

          To evaluate management indicators we include management commitment, the overall seniority of responsibility of the issue in the organisation, frequency of management discussion and how this process is integrated on a group level given the global operations of any company. We balance the commitment by also evaluating the performance of the company on that specific issue through relevant KPIs. For example, to evaluate overall human rights commitment of a company, we evaluate if the management is committed, who is responsible for implementing the human rights policy, if there is a grievance mechanism, and so on. For evaluating human rights performance, we focus on number of incidents reported on human rights issues, cases resolved, male-female ratio etc. We also include controversy monitoring for evaluating the effectiveness of the processes and and areas for improvement.

Explain your approach

          There are many projects that require assessment of policies or sustainability performance of companies on a regular basis. The year on year progress of the company can be assessed easily by looking at the graphs or KPIs. However, there are also a few clients who do the evaluation just for one time and then the progress can not be mapped.

Explain your approach

          We ensure that all the ESG parameters are covered in our analysis. ESG factors could have different weights in different sectors for example environmental issues have more weight in extractive sectors and social issues could be more important in agriculture sector. While designing assessment methodologies we strive to ensure right balance of the three pillars of sustainability: ESG.

Explain your approach

          We always suffer with the discrepancy between self-reported and public data. The companies or banks under evaluation that agree to provide information and participate actively in the research process get the benefit of scoring high as against the companies or banks that do not participate. In our view, this is also an indicator of a company or a banks preparedness and their commitment towards ESG issues. We believe it is fair to reflect the difference in the scoring. It may act as an incentive to participate and be more transparent for the companies and banks to get better rankings and scores.

05.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]

RDP 06. Consistency and comparability

06.1. Describe the control processes in place to ensure quality of research.

          We have a systematic review process to ensure quality of our research. The projects are monitored by a project manager who ensures that all the team members understand clients' requirements for a specific research. The projects are regularly monitored by the project manager to ensure that the project is well-progressing. Every report or project goes through a quality check by an experienced researcher before getting delivered to the client.

06.2. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]

RDP 07. Emerging ESG issues and trends (Private)

RDP 08. Client use of outputs (Private)