ESG Data Guide 2023

MSCI - Sustainability Solutions for Corporates and Advisors

Data category

  • Environmental data
  • Ratings
  • Research data

The data offers solutions for:

  • Environmental impact analysis and insight
  • Sustainable Finance

Who are the data users?

  • Corporates
  • Financial institutions
  • Government
  • Investors
  • Trustees
  • Consultants/Advisors

Brief description of the data offering

Provisional ESG Ratings are intended to help privately held companies, their owners, bankers, and other stakeholders understand their ESG profile. Provisional ESG Ratings enable a better understanding of the ESG profile of companies not currently rated by MSCI ESG Research as part of standard coverage and may be used in a limited manner to provide information about a company in connection with an upcoming liquidity event (e.g., IPO) or for internal-use as a baseline. Unlike standard ratings, the provisional rating is paid for and may be based in part on non-public information.

Second-Party Opinions (SPOs) are part of MSCI’s growing suite of sustainable corporate financing solutions designed with the aim of lending credibility and transparency to sustainable debt financing plans. The offering is available for Green, Social and Sustainability debt-financing frameworks and post-issuance reviews. MSCI ESG Research launched SPOs for Green and Social bonds and loans in 2022. In 2023, the offering was expanded to include Sustainability bonds and loans. SPOs assess whether the subject financing framework or transaction aligns with industry standards as well as the relevant MSCI ESG methodology. Issuers receiving a favorable SPO from MSCI ESG Research may use an MSCI SPO Badge in addition to their MSCI ESG Ratings Badge (if rated by MSCI ESG Research) and the SPO itself to support their financing plans.   

Corporate Sustainability Insights is designed to give executives at companies tracked by MSCI ESG Research the ability to measure and compare their ESG and climate data versus peers, while also identifying potential disclosure gaps through intuitive charts, graphs, and maps. Features of MSCI Corporate Sustainability Insights, managed by MSCI ESG Research LLC, are designed to give companies streamlined insights, views into their risk exposure and alignment with global temperature goals, identify potential disclosure gaps, and views into climate-related risks and opportunities.

Where and how do you source your data?

MSCI ESG Research has measured and modeled the ESG performance of companies for over 40 years via extensive collection of publicly reported data and direct engagement with companies. The rising importance of ESG for investors and companies in recent years, as well as the higher level of regulatory reporting requirements, has led to greater data disclosure and dissemination from companies themselves to MSCI ESG Research. In 2022, 3,989 companies (43%) in the MSCI ACWI Investible Market Index interacted directly with MSCI ESG Research.

As regulators have begun mandating TCFD-aligned rules, more companies are also making net-zero pledges. As of March 2022, 1,330 of the more than 2,900 constituents of the MSCI ACWI Index had set emission-reduction targets. Companies are also increasing their climate-related data disclosures in lock step with institutional investors that are moving towards net-zero and other ESG and climate investing goals. The number of data points related to climate change that companies submitted to MSCI ESG Research rose from 9,914 to 14,648 between 2021 and 2022.

What is the cost for your data offering?

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What are the key attributes that differentiates the data you offer?

MSCI ESG Research is a leading provider of ESG data and analytics. Public and private companies around the world turn to us for market leading ESG and climate tools and solutions.

MSCI ESG Research has been assessing green debt since the launch of the Barclays MSCI Green Bond Indices (now known as Bloomberg MSCI Green Bond Indices) in 2014. In addition to assessing alignment with the relevant ICMA or LMA standards, MSCI ESG Research SPOs include an assessment of whether the subject framework or transaction is aligned with the Labeled Bond and Loan Assessment Methodology[1], as needed. This dual assessment is meant to assist both issuers’ and investors’ understanding of the level of alignment that each framework or transaction has with industry and MSCI standards.

Corporate Sustainability Insights is designed to allow you to deepen your understanding of your key ESG and Climate exposures, facilitate your ability to provide updated climate-related disclosures to MSCI, identify and act on disclosure gaps that may exist for your climate-related data, gain deeper access into MSCI’s climate metrics to better understand your company’s exposures and market positioning, better pinpoint the ESG key issues where your company is leading or lagging against industry peers or other specific companies, and view climate-related risks and opportunities compared with peers (according to the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures).