NEW YORK (November 29, 2021) — ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), today launched Collaborative Engagement Services, which enables cost-effective investor participation in joint outreach and dialogue with companies on material sustainability-related themes, and supports global investor compliance and reporting requirements with regard to voluntary and statutory stewardship frameworks including PRI, EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the EU Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II) and stewardship codes across the globe.
ISS ESG’s Collaborative Engagement Services consists of two elements. The first is the existing ISS ESG Norm-Based Engagement Solution (formerly known as ‘Pooled Engagement’). This is based on outreach to a select universe of upwards of 100 public companies annually involved in alleged violations of human rights, labor rights, environment and corruption-related recognized international standards, including OECD Guidelines, UN Global Compact, Guiding Principles and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The second element is the new ISS ESG Thematic Engagement Solution, which will go live in January 2022. The new solution prioritizes outreach to a select universe of approximately 30 public companies per theme and a two-year engagement cycle, focused on companies identified as underperforming according to the following UN SDGs: Climate Action (SDG 13) focused on Net Zero goals; Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Gender Diversity (SDG 5); and Life Below Water/On Land (SDGs 14/15) focused on biodiversity goals.
For each thematic engagement, ISS ESG will formulate a clearly articulated goal based on participating investors’ expectations, provide baseline benchmark information, and refers to specific laws, standards and norms. Edouard Dubois, Global Head of Stewardship & Engagement, ISS ESG said: “The structured dialogue process encourages broader corporate disclosure on ESG issues, metrics and the link to corporate strategy, to enable enhanced sustainable investment decision-making by investors and improved market efficiency.”
Current ISS ESG Norm-Based Engagement Solution subscribers are provided with access to a user-friendly online Engagement Tracking Tool through which they can opt-in or -out for specific quarterly engagements, perform detailed analysis of the engagement dialogues, and produce robust data and reporting on their ongoing or completed engagements for internal and external reporting purposes, such as PRI. The reporting includes individual company reports as well as aggregated real time excel exports, quarterly progress reports and annual reports. Thematic Engagement Solution subscribers will also have access to this tool by the end of 2022.
Dr. Maximilian Horster, Head of ISS ESG said: “ISS ESG’s Collaborative Engagement Services facilitates cost-effective investor stewardship compliance and reporting, by leveraging ISS ESG’s expertise, research and data to facilitate the identification of key performance indicators for corporate ESG improvement and momentum, aligned with recognized standards.”
About ISS ESG
ISS ESG solutions enable investors to develop and integrate responsible investing policies and practices, engage on responsible investment issues, and monitor portfolio company practices and performance through screening solutions and the proprietary financial measure, Economic Value Added. It also provides climate data, analytics, and advisory services to help financial market participants understand, measure, and act on climate-related risks across all asset classes. In addition, ESG solutions cover fund, corporate, and country ESG research and ratings enabling its clients to identify material social and environmental risks and opportunities. For more information, please visit us at: www.iss-esg.com
Sarah Ball, Executive Director
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.