Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. - Controversial Weapons Research

Data category

Social data

What data do you provide?

ISS ESG’s Controversial Weapons Research is a well-established analysis methodology that helps investors make decisions regarding companies directly or indirectly involved in the development, production, maintenance or sale of weapons that are illegal—as their production and use is prohibited by international legal instruments—or deemed particularly controversial because of their indiscriminate effects and the disproportionate harm they cause. Specifically, ISS ESG’s service identifies and assesses corporate involvement the following: 

  • Biological weapons
  • Chemical weapons
  • Anti-personnel mines
  • Cluster munitions
  • Depleted uranium ammunition and armour
  • Incendiary weapons
  • White phosphorus weapons
  • Nuclear weapons programmes in recognized nuclear-weapon states (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, and China)
  • Nuclear weapons programmes outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty (“NPT”), i.e. in countries other than the five recognized nuclear-weapon states, regardless of company domicile

Controversial Weapons Research covers approximately 25,000 issuers including about 17,000 publicly traded companies.

Where and how do you source your data?

ISS ESG conducts a comprehensive, systematic review of open sources such as company publications, contract award notifications by government authorities, military specialized magazines and publications by research organizations and non-governmental organizations.   

Active company and stakeholder dialogues are also a key component of the research process. ISS ESG engages in a fact-finding dialogue with companies as soon as research is initiated and offers companies an opportunity to review the analysis and submit relevant complementary documentation. 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?

  • Granular flagging and scoring systemControversial Weapons Research findings are categorized by traffic light signals based on status and level of involvement and verification and given a numeric score to provide additional granularity based on type of activity and ownership.  


Assess companies’ involvement in banned or controversial #weapons, including cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, depleted uranium, #nuclear weapons, and biological and chemical weapons, using @issesg's Controversial Weapons Research. 



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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