ESG Data Guide 2023

ISS ESG - Carbon Risk Rating

Data category

  • Environmental data
  • Ratings

Brief description of the data offering

ISS ESG's Carbon Risk Rating evaluates to what extent a company copes with future challenges related to climate change and seizes opportunities arising from a transition to a low-carbon economy. The rating assesses issuers' business activities relating to the fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas, their carbon footprint, and the management of their industry-specific carbon risks, through the use of over 100 cross-industry and industry-specific indicators.

The rating is derived from two key components:

  • Carbon Risk Classification: a classification of the respective industry's climate change-related risks on a scale from one (very high risk) to four (low risk)
  • Carbon Performance Score: based on a selection of climate change-specific indicators and demonstrates how the company tackles climate change along the value chain. The score is based on the assessment 100 different standard and sector-specific indicators. Standard topics include climate change strategy, energy management, environmental impacts of the product portfolio, eco efficiency, etc.

Issuers are scored on a scale from 0 to 100 representing how a company deals with industry-specific climate risks. The scale can be translated into four broader performance categories: Climate Laggard, Medium Performer, Outperformer, and Leader. These results allow the investor to see in a forward-looking way which companies are best equipped to reduce their direct and indirect carbon emissions effectively. 

ISS ESG's coverage comprises over 10,600 corporate issuers, including some 6,800 listed companies.

ISS ESG also offers a Country Carbon Risk Rating evaluating the effectiveness of a country’s government in implementing policies aimed at reducing GHG emissions by state, corporate and private actors, and in adapting to a changed climate by reducing its vulnerability to climate risks. Coverage includes more than 120 countries.

Where and how do you source your data?

Data underlying the Carbon Risk Rating is collected from a range of sources, including:

  • Public information, including annual reports; and sustainable development reports; United Nations Global Compact Participant Communication on Progress; Principles for Responsible Investment Signatory Reporting, etc.
  • Subscription databases, including data from the Factiva and CDP
  • Company correspondence, additional information provided directly by the issuers during the rating process

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?

  • Holistic and future-oriented approach. The Carbon Risk Rating assesses the climate-related performance of companies, taking into account not only industry-specific challenges and risk profiles but also a company’s positive impact. Covers relevant aspects of a company's entire value chain (supply chain, production, products & services).
  • Focus on industry-specific analysis. ISS ESG's approach is sector-oriented; for each sector, a specific catalogue of indicators is selected, helping to ensure the homogeneity of data within each sector.
  • 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.
  • 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.


@ISSESG’s Carbon Risk Rating enables #investors to evaluate to what extent a company copes with #climate-related risks and seizes opportunities arising from the transition to a low-carbon economy. The rating is also available for countries.

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