Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. - Norm-Based Research

Data category

Social data

What data do you provide?

ISS ESG’s Norm-Based Research is a pioneering research solution developed nearly 20 years ago, in collaboration with Nordic asset owners, to enable investors to gain insight into corporate adherence to global norms on human rights, labour, environmental and anti-corruption standards.

The core normative framework consists of international initiatives and guidelines such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Norm Enterprises and Social Policy, the UN Global Compact and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations 'Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework'.

The analysis results are categorized and presented according to the following traffic-light system:

The key pillars of ISS ESG’s Norm-Based Research methodology are:

  • A verification process that involves engagement with companies and/or key stakeholders. ISS ESG engages in fact-finding dialogue with companies upon initiation of research into a reported allegation. As part of this dialogue, the company is presented with the allegation and offered an opportunity to state its position. This dialogue continues for as long as ISS ESG maintains its assessment on the company.
  • Qualitative insights that are garnered throughout the research process. ISS ESG’s in-depth research process includes detailed steps to determine the maturity of relevant norms and standards, a company’s association with the controversy, the severity of the allegation, remedial measures, and validation of key information by authoritative sources.
  • Dynamic updating of assessments as developments occur. Norm-Based Research assessments are updated when information on significant developments is obtained through the systematic monitoring of news and stakeholder sources

Norm-Based Research covers approximately 24,000 issuers including some 16,000 publicly listed companies globally in developed, emerging and frontier markets.

Where and how do you source your data?

ISS ESG carries out data mining for allegations of corporate involvement in failures to respect international norms and standards through the use of a web-based tool that monitors more than 4,500 public sources globally in 11 languages and more than 150 expert stakeholder sources.  These sources include commercial newspapers, newsletters, NGO and trade union websites, government bodies, intergovernmental agencies, blogs and other web-based sources. 

Data mining triggers in-depth research into ongoing controversies whereby ISS ESG conducts comprehensive assessments based on a range of reputable public sources to determine corporate culpability for the controversy, the severity of the breach, and to what extent and with what success the company has taken steps to mitigate the impact. Only sources classified by ISS ESG as trustworthy are used to assess facts. 

ISS ESG engages in fact-finding dialogue with companies upon initiation of research into a reported allegation. As part of this dialogue, the company is presented with the allegation and offered an opportunity to state its position. This dialogue continues for as long as ISS ESG maintains its assessment on the company.  

ISS ESG also consults with experts and field specialists (commonly representatives of state institutions, inter-governmental organizations, academia, NGOs) to cross-check information and deepen the understanding of benchmark corporate practices.  

Who are the data users?

Data is used by a broad range of institutional investors, asset managers, asset owners, fund managers, banks, government institutions, universities and research firms.  

What is the cost for your data offering?

Pricing is based on the method by which data is delivered. ISS ESG can provide data via its proprietary platform, DataDesk, or via data feed. Pricing for this solution is available upon request. 

Contacts

marija.kramer@iss-esg.com

Corporate Statements

A custom-built approach to ESG

ISS ESG puts a premium on its clients’ ability to customise the ESG data and analytics they can access, its CEO Marija Kramer tells Environmental Finance.

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