ISS ESG - Norm-Based Research

Data category

Social data

Brief description of the data offering

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. 

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

  • High quality data. ISS ESG’s comprehensive Norm-Based Research methodology, supported by strict internal quality management systems, is based on recognized value systems that are continuously adapted to the latest developments and insights in the field of sustainability.
  • Focus on company and stakeholder engagement. 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.
  • Dynamic assessments updated as new information becomes available. ISS ESG systematically tracks developments on relevant controversies in the 24-hour news cycle and makes updates to assessments as new information become available and validated.
  • Insights from industry specialists. ISS ESG employs a dedicated team of researchers with specialized backgrounds in global norms, offering insight and dedicated experience on the environmental and social issues identified. The team’s broad language skills and understanding of ESG issues allows it to identify, analyse and track controversies.
  • International expertise and local support. Exceptional client service is a hallmark of the ISS ESG business model with local research, consultants and operational support represented in a dedicated service team. The client support team builds the bridge for clients to the highly experienced team of analysts to help ensure that clients are supported by knowledgeable, skilled professionals to support business objectives.
  • An integrated environmental, social and governance solution. The service combination of the various governance and responsible investment related services offered by ISS allows investors to address ESG challenges with one common approach and rely on global account management and research teams able to offer coherent and unified answers and solutions to their ESG needs. ISS ESG is a true one-stop shop, able to support investors across all ESG related topics.

Tweet

Norm-Based Research offered by @ISSESG assesses companies’ adherence to international norms on #humanrights, labor standards, #environmental protection and anti-#corruption set out in the UN @globalcompact and @OECD guidelines.

Access the methodology: https://www.issgovernance.com/esg/screening/esg-screening-solutions/#norm-based

Contacts

Maximilian.Horster@iss-esg.com

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

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