ESG Ratings: Where’s the Correlation?

Research Brief White Papers November 29, 2017

This research brief by Dr. Jim Hawley explores the near-total lack of agreement in ESG score providers, the why, how, and directions for what might be done about it with emerging technologies. These are crucial issues for the investment industry to surmount as ESG’s importance becomes more obvious and wealth owners and asset managers and owners demand that it be taken into account.

This research brief covers:

  • Summary of issues with ESG rater disagreement, classifies them as consisting of 8 broad problems, and recommends investor actions to mitigate unreliability of subjective ratings.
  • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)’s materiality framework throughout paper, including:  “granular public goods” concept; SASB versus other standards; sustainability data in the role of traditional financial data.

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