ESG Data Guide 2023

ISS ESG - Country Screening

Data category

  • Social data
  • Research Data

The data offers solutions for:

  • Environmental impact analysis and insight
  • Investment decisions and portfolio insight
  • Nature-based information
  • Nature-based information: Biodiversity
  • Reporting: Impact
  • Social impact analysis and insight
  • Index providers

Who are the data users?

  • Corporates
  • Trustees
  • Investors
  • Government
  • Financial institutions
  • Index providers

Brief description of the data offering

As ESG investing has gone mainstream in the public equity space, the spotlight has turned to fixed income investments and sovereign bonds in particular. Investors increasingly recognize that ESG factors, such as corruption, climate protection, and human rights, could impact the long-term solvency of government bond issuers.

ISS ESG’s Country Screening enables investors to assess a country’s exposure to various controversies, including alignment with international norms and conventions, to effectively manage potential ESG risks and opportunities. The assessment covers various ESG factors across the following themes:

  • Authoritarian Regime
  • Corruption
  • Freedom of
  • Military Budget
  • Biodiversity
  • Death Penalty
  • Speech & Press
  • Money Laundering
  • Child Labour
  • Discrimination
  • Global Peace Index
  • Nuclear Power
  • Climate Protection
  • Euthanasia
  • Human Rights
  • Nuclear Weapons
  • Coal Power
  • Freedom of Association
  • Labour Rights
  • Whaling

Coverage for the Screening includes more than 800 sovereign issuers as of March 2022:

  • Approximately 100% coverage of global sovereign debt issued
  • More than 190 countries as of March 2022 as well as Hong Kong and the European Union
  • All member countries of the European Union and the OECD

Where and how do you source your data?

Analysts gather the controversy-related information from credible and acknowledged external sources, such as indices and blacklists, and the ISS ESG Country Rating to deliver high-quality, relevant and actionable data.

Examples of sources:

  • Amnesty International
  • Financial Action Task Force
  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

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 Country Screening 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.
  • 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.


@ISSESG's Country Screening enables investors to assess a country’s exposure to #controversies, including alignment with international norms & conventions, to manage potential #ESG risks & capitalize on potential opportunities.