ISS ESG - Global Sanctions Screening

Data category

  • Social data
  • Screening and Controversies

Brief description of the data offering

Global Sanctions Screening identifies issuers with certain business ties to countries subject to US state-level divestment mandates or designated under national or multi-lateral sanctions regimes. Issuers linked to sanctioned nations are comprehensively evaluated to determine the nature of their business activities and whether these activities are permissible or scrutinized under sanctions mandates. Customized screens can be created to take into account exempting factors such as humanitarian activities, ongoing withdrawal, authorized business activities, and related exemptions, as well as screening in support of specific US state-level mandates.

ISS monitors more than 50 regimes facing sanctions including the below countries. A full list is available upon request.

Countries covered under US state-level sanctions

  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Northern Ireland
  • Sudan
  • Syria

National and Multilateral Sanctions Regimes

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • EU
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (OFAC)

Countries of Concern

  • 45+ countries identified by Freedom House as 'Not Free'

Where and how do you source your data?

ISS ESG employs a country-centric approach to sanctions research, focusing on any projects, operations, agreements, or other involvement in/with a country of concern. This country-centric approach allows ISS ESG to flag potential scrutinized companies that would not otherwise fall into a defined index and allows the company to provide fuller coverage. 

Assessments include a profile note on the company’s relevant activities, and in some cases the research will include an indication as to what share of revenue a company derives from these activities (more or less than 10%) or what amount a company has invested in certain sectors in these countries. 

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 level of detail and transparency. ISS ESG provides detailed information on the targets of sanctions (e.g. current leadership)
  • Insights from industry specialists. The research team has an in-depth understanding of international relations, as well as multi-lateral and national sanction regimes. ISS ESG’s specialised support enables investors to act in line with the letter and spirit of the relevant sanction regime.
  • Dynamic assessments updated as new information becomes available. ISS ESG provides event-driven updates and client alerts to support timely action.
  • 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.


#Investors; would you like to keep up to date national and multilateral sanctions? @ISSESG’s Global Sanctions Screenings assesses companies with ties to countries of concern and/or countries under UN, EU or U.S. #sanctions. Find out 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

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