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Fra 2022 står ESG-investorer med store data udfordringer

Joachim Kattrup

søndag 17. januar 2021 kl. 16:28

Investorer står over for store udfordringer med datahuller, når de bringer deres porteføljer på linje med nye EU-bæredygtige bestemmelser inden 2022.  Data forventes at forblive hullede i de kommende år, da investorer og virksomheder anvender de nye regler på deres strategier, skriver S&P Global

Fra januar 2022 skal investorer, der forvalter ESG fonde, forklare, hvordan de bruger et EU-klassificeringssystem eller taksonomi til at bestemme bæredygtigheden af ​​deres investeringer. De bliver også nødt til at oplyse, hvor stor en procentdel af deres investeringer der er i overensstemmelse med taksonomien. Det forventes, at den nye forordning vil ændre radikalt, hvordan investorer og virksomheder rapporterer om deres miljøpræstationer.

Uddrag fra S&P Globals gennemgang: 

“The No. 1 challenge that investors report is that they are not sure if they are going to have sufficient data on their underlying holding,” Nathan Fabian, chief responsible investment officer at the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and chairperson at the European Platform on Sustainable Finance, said in an interview.

Company disclosure

Companies do not have to disclose their own taxonomy alignment until the end of 2022, according to Fabian, who also served as rapporteur for the Taxonomy Group at the EU’s Technical Expert Group.

“So, at the start there will be gaps in the data,” he said. “The European Commission knows that, the European supervisory authorities know that and so it is just a case of getting started with what you have got and building the data over time.”

Under its sustainable finance action plan announced in 2018, the EU created the taxonomy to define environmentally friendly investments and set performance thresholds for companies and industries that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or adapt to a changing climate.

SNL Image

The taxonomy assesses 67 economic activities, spanning manufacturing to transport, and is designed to steer companies as they adapt their business strategies to climate change, as well as help investment funds judge sectors based on their environmental performance.

Case studies

The PRI ran case studies with more than 40 asset managers and owners, including AXA Investment Managers and Credit Suisse Group AG, to test the taxonomy. One of the main challenges cited was the lack of clearly defined, publicly available, or reliable data. An absence of standardized ESG data has been highlighted as a potential brake on the growth of sustainable investing.

As a first step, investors will likely use ESG rating companies and service providers to screen portfolios, Fabian said. For example, ESG data provider Vigeo Eiris launched a taxonomy alignment screening tool in October.

Isobel Edwards, green bond analyst at NN Investment Partners, the investment management arm of Dutch insurance group NN Group, said the biggest challenge in bringing NNIP’s green bond portfolio into line with the taxonomy was finding the relevant information. Green bonds — debt that finances environmentally friendly projects such as wind farms or solar power — have attracted growing investor interest, particularly in Europe.

“Often, it’s us doing all of the searching, all of the research, all of the analysis. That is a just a big time commitment and often the information in the end is not out there yet,” she said. NNIP has created its own methodology for verifying green bonds’ compliance, and will spend much of 2021 verifying whether a green bond meets taxonomy requirements for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and not harming the environment.

NNIP aims to share its methodology with other asset managers and work with green bond issuers to help with data collection, Edwards said. Data collection will be easier when issuers submit their taxonomy alignment at the end of 2022, she said.

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