Element6™: the climate platform for change
Girish Narula, CEO of Urgentem, describes a unique data and analytics platform.
Environmental Finance: What data do you provide?
Girish Narula, CEO, Urgentem: Our dataset provides a comprehensive time series of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol defined Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions of the largest 4,500+ global companies that are directly analysed by us along with modelled data available for 30,000+ securities.
Data includes Scope 1 emissions, Scope 2 for both market and location-based emissions and each of the 15 disclosure categories of Scope 3 emissions, covering all the major investable indices.
EF: How would you say you are differentiated from your competitors?
GN: The transition to a low carbon economy is a technical challenge but we also need new design values to guide and inform how new tools and technologies are built.
Our guiding design values are threefold: transparency, collaboration and science alignment, which complement our competencies in finance, technology and climate science.
First transparency. Transparency informs everything we do from collecting, processing and delivering data through to the design of our climate models, methodologies and analytics.
An example; our dataset incorporates both disclosed and inferred emissions intensity data. We apply an Intensity Inference Methodology to non-disclosing companies and to companies with insufficient publicly disclosed data. The dataset clearly identifies figures that are directly reported and inferred.
Because we’re committed to transparency, we share not just our data and models but the assumptions on which they’re based.
Second, collaboration. Climate change is a complex multi-faceted problem and science and technology are changing rapidly, so collaboration is essential.
We partner with leading practitioners and experts from the financial markets, climate scientists, research bodies, academics and climate-risk focused NGOs.
From our perspective, open collaboration with the climate-science and research community is required to ensure that the models informing decision making are aligned with the latest scientific research.
Our analytics are supported by our close ties with climate scientists and academics and harmonised with the latest IPCC reports, EU Taxonomy and TCFD frameworks.
Finally, science alignment, which is the inevitable corollary of our commitment to transparency and open collaboration.
Our strategy is supported by a developmental culture program which enables our teams to deliver a superior service in the face of constant, disruptive and accelerating change.
That’s our difference – we’re a mission driven company, designed to remove all barriers to cooperation.
EF: You call yourselves climate transition catalysts - how are you enabling this transition?
GN: One way is by promoting greater investment into more sustainable companies: using our data and analytics, clients are able to create investable financial products or benchmarks that are specifically designed to reallocate capital towards the most carbon, resource efficient and sustainable companies.
Another key focus is ‘avoided emissions,’ which are the carbon savings produced by companies’ technological innovations compared to their industry peers. Our investment strategies enable identification of avoided emissions and allow for greater investment into such companies. Our advisory and analytics enables a forward-looking approach to investing and impact.
We also use our rankings and collaborate with partners to generate awareness and advocate for better disclosure of emissions data.
EF: Where does your climate risk platform, Element6™, fit into this picture?
GN: We’ve prototyped and tested the platform with our development community and now have a robust and scalable platform that offers a holistic view of climate risk at the company, sector and portfolio level, including scenario analysis, sectoral emissions attribution and forward-looking analysis.
It’s being used by asset owners for strategic allocation and regulatory climate risk reporting as well as asset managers who incorporate climate risk into their portfolio optimisation and stock selection.
All modules in the platform are based on our work or experience with clients. As we find new ways to help them, these are incorporated into product development alongside clients’ feedback on their usage.
The platform isn’t just another product for us – it represents the best conduit for the flows of information and knowledge amongst our ecosystem of academia, scientists and research institutes, NGOs and our client-base.
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