Skepticism in ESG’s ability to make an impact (ex-BlackRock essay summary)

  • Italian market coverage grew the most, both in terms of absolute and relative increases, with more than 50 new entities participating (a 329% increase from last year)
  • German market coverage increased by 68%, with more than 30 new entities participating
  • US market has now reached 300 participating entities
  • Japanese and Australian markets have both reached over 100 participating entities.
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  • definitions of materiality,
  • normalisation techniques,
  • aggregation and weighting,
  • survivorship bias and missing data,
  • use of standards and metrics,
  • creation of benchmarking and peer groups,
  • sources and timing of data collection, and
  • conduct vs product-based scoring methodologies.
  • Example 1: Strong Policy, Poor Disclosure = Poor Rating. If a company has a best practice diversity & inclusion, employee health and safety, or other type of ESG policy, but does not make the policy publicly available, certain ESG ratings providers will give that company a low rating (or the industry average).
  • Example 2: Comprehensive policy, poor follow through = Higher Rating. Companies that publish well written, comprehensive policies receive higher ratings even though these policies may not be followed at an operational level. Simply having a policy for an ESG issue does not mean the issue is being properly managed at a company

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