ISS ESG - Second Party Opinion

Data category

  • Verification/certification data
  • Third-Party Opinion

Brief description of the data offering

ICS' Second Party Opinion ("SPO") services provide sustainability, green and social bond issuers with a credible and independent assessment of the sustainability quality of their bonds. Those that meet ISS ESG's rigorous global standards give sustainability-oriented investors security that the projects they fund are suitably sustainable. 

The SPO comes in the form of a written report, detailing three core areas: 

  1. The alignment of the issuer's bond framework to the International Captial Market Association (ICMA) Green/Social Bond Principles (for bonds)
  2. The quality of environmental, social and governance (ESG) management of the underlying assets (measured against sets of key performance indicators)
  3. The ESG performance of the issuer themselves, based on ISS ESG's corporate or country rating. This is a key tool to demonstrate the sustainability credentials of the bond and of its issuer to potential investors in the sustainable debt capital market, whilst avoiding reputational risk & greenwashing accusation

Where and how do you source your data?

  1. The green/social/sustainability bond framework is provided by the client
  2. The information used to analyse the quality of ESG management is provided by the client
  3. The data informing the issuer’s ESG rating is based on publicly available information and incorporates feedback from the issuer
  4. The information on potential controversies on the projects financed by the issuer are retrieved analysing mass media and public databases

Who are the data users?

Issuers of green, social or sustainability bonds that select ISS Corporate Solutions as their data provider. The end user of the reports are also investors deciding between different green, social or sustainability bonds to invest in.

What is the cost for your data offering?

Pricing is based on a number of factors, including the number of different project categories within the issuer’s framework and also whether they have an existing ISS ESG corporate or country rating. For full pricing discussions, please contact ISS Corporate Solutions directly.

What are the key attributes that differentiates the data you offer?

  • Leading SPO market expertise. ICS has more than 25 years of expertise in the ESG market and was one of the first SPO providers and Approved Verifiers by the Climate Bond Initiative in the green bond market.
  • Leverages leading in-house ESG data solutions. ICS’ SPOs are underpinned by data and insights sourced from industry-leading ISS ESG solutions, including the Climate Solutions and ESG Corporate Ratings.
  • Experience across issuer types and asset classes. ISS ESG has been a pioneer in developing and applying new methodologies for the measurement of ESG and climate impacts across a variety of asset classes.
  • Applicability across various client types. Issuers benefit from an independent opinion of the Bond Sustainability Quality & Impact, while investors have confirmation that the bond meets their sustainability requirements.


Corporate Statements

Turning knowledge into action

Maximilian Horster, head of ISS ESG, foresees several trends will shape the environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment space over the next 12 months. Environmental Finance spoke with him to see how ISS ESG is tailoring its data, index and reporting solutions as a result

Guide entries

Bespoke Research & Advisory Solutions

Carbon & Climate Data

Carbon Footprint Report

Carbon Risk Rating

Climate Advisory Services

Climate Impact Report

Climate Voting Policy


Controversial Weapons Research

Country Controversy Assessment

Custom Climate Voting Factors

Custom Rating

Director and Board Data

Energy & Extractives Screening

Environmental & Social Disclosure QualityScore

ESG Corporate Rating

ESG Country Rating

ESG Fund Rating

ESG Index Solutions

ESG Portfolio Analysis

ESG Raw Data

ESG Scorecard

EU Taxonomy Alignment Solution


Executive Compensation Data & Profiles

Global Sanctions Screening

Governance QualityScore

Norm-Based Research

Pooled Engagement

Potential Avoided Emissions Data

Responsible Investment Policy Development

SDG Impact Rating

SDG Solutions Assessment

Second Party Opinion

Sector-Based Screening

SFDR Principle Adverse Impacts Solution

Shareholder Meeting Results

Stewardship Toolkit