ESG data – mind the gaps

27 August 2020 - By Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker

Originally published on Euromoney

[...] Another London-based startup, Datamaran, takes this approach even further. The firm uses NLP across a wide range of media, company and other sources – including an extensive regulatory database – to assess companies’ positioning on ESG issues.

Ian van der Vlugt, director of product at Datamaran, says this approach avoids the problems faced by other ESG data providers, such as boundary definition, gaps in indicators and consistency of reporting.

“For instance, we assess whether a company is reporting on the risks posed to it by climate change or whether it is adequately addressing biodiversity in its services,” he says.

He adds that this approach can help to filter out meaningless or misleading corporate verbiage.

“We are increasingly looking at how we can identify fluffier disclosures or what could be considered green-washing,” he says. “We recently updated our lexicon of terms and term co-locations and relationships that we use to analyze data in order to address this issue and provide deeper insight into specific risk action areas.”

Originally designed for companies themselves, Datamaran is now starting to follow the other ESG startups in offering its data to investors.


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