ISS ESG - SDG Solutions Assessment

Data category

  • Environmental data
  • Social data
  • Governance data
  • Ratings

Brief description of the data offering

ISS ESG’s SDG Solutions Assessment weighs the positive or negative impact of a company’s product and service portfolio towards 15 environmental and social objectives closely aligned with the UN SDGs. The assessment contains an aggregate score and objective-level scoring as well as a granular breakdown of the products/services assessed, in addition to the percent of net sales linked to each sustainability objective.

ISS ESG has defined a total of 15 sustainability objectives which are closely aligned with the SDGs. They are used to assess companies’ product and services portfolios in terms of their contribution or obstruction towards sustainable development, qualifying the portfolio’s impact based on a five-level impact scale (from significant contribution down to significant obstruction).

Social objectives include:

  • Alleviating poverty
  • Combating hunger/malnutrition
  • Ensuring health
  • Delivering education
  • Attain gender equality
  • Providing basic services
  • Safeguarding peace

Environmental objectives include:

  • Achieving sustainable agriculture/forestry
  • Conserving water
  • Contributing to sustainable energy use
  • Promoting sustainable buildings
  • Optimising material use
  • Mitigating climate change
  • Preserving marine ecosystems
  • Preserving terrestrial ecosystems

For each individual objective, a qualitative analysis is conducted to determine whether a product or service category makes a significant or limited net contribution towards attaining the objective; whether it has neither an explicitly positive nor an explicitly negative impact; or whether the product or service actually acts as a limited or significant obstruction towards attaining the objective. As a result, the positive and negative effects of different product groups may partly cancel each other out within a given objective.

The individual product or service assessment is done along five categories:

The results are provided in form of Revenue Percentages, Objective Scores and the SDG Solutions Score. Objective Scores are based on the classification of products and services offered and their respective revenue shares. The SDG Solutions Score provides an aggregated assessment, taking into account a company’s most distinct objective impacts. 

Coverage includes over 10,600 corporate issuers, including some 6,800 listed companies.

Where and how do you source your data?

The analysis is based on the percentage of revenues generated by a company from material products and services. While some companies report exact figures on relevant product sales, others only report on geographic segments or do not report segment sales at all. The analyst in charge of the assessment takes all relevant and available sources into account to estimate the share of net sales a company generates with relevant products. Estimated sales percentages are based on the following assessment of publicly available information:

  • Reported sales revenue: Exact value of net sales generated with relevant products and/or services reported by the company.
  • Proxy-based estimated sales revenue: Share of net sales generated with relevant products and/or services estimated with "high" or "medium" certainty.
  • Industry knowledge-based estimations: No information disclosed regarding the share of revenue derived from products and/or services within the portfolio, and no concrete evidence available that would allow for an estimation with a higher certainty level.

In addition, companies are given the opportunity to comment on the evaluation as it is included in the ESG Corporate Rating report, which is submitted for company’s feedback every two years.

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?

  • A granular bottom-up methodology with comprehensive evaluation guidelines. For each individual sustainability objective, a qualitative analysis is conducted to determine whether a product or service category makes a significant or limited net impact towards attaining the objective. To evaluate the overall impact, a rules-based decision process has been implemented covering over one hundred broad product groups. In every sector, there are clear evaluation guidelines for every goal and the respective evaluation levels.
  • A thematic approach weighing both positive and obstructing impact. ISS ESG’s impact analysis provides approximately 75 distinct data points per company, including five net sales share numbers per objective, each of which is accompanied by a qualitative description of relevant products or services. This thematic approach allows for a nuanced assessment of the sustainability quality of products and services. A given product category’s positive impact to the achievement of one objective can be displayed at the same time as its obstructing impact on the achievement of another objective.
  • 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.
  • Workflow benefits from technological innovation. Through its proprietary online platform, DataDesk, clients have access to more than 7,000 data points across ESG/financial themes, allowing investors to view and screen data across companies, to search and view detailed profiles by company, or to monitor portfolios and watchlists. Content can also be delivered through bespoke data feeds, or via third-party channels.


#Investors; Assess the impact of a company’s product and service portfolio along 15 social and environmental objectives that are aligned with the @UN #SDGs with @ISSESG’s SDG Solutions Assessment. Learn more:



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

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