An algorithm tracks ESG updates related to public companies in real time
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Spotted: Investors are becoming increasingly interested in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their analysis of material risk and growth opportunities. But standards of ESG reporting vary, and companies often do not disclose relevant information in a systematic way. It can therefore be difficult for investors to tease out relevant ESG insights. Fintech start-up GaiaLens aims to tackle this problem with a real-time analytics platform for institutional investors.
The company’s newest product, GaiaLens Momentum, is a real-time ESG information service that captures and processes all ESG-relevant news for more than 16,000 public companies. The algorithm scours the internet for significant news on ESG themes linked to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards, and other key themes such as Modern Slavery and Gender Equality. Information is gathered from traditional news sources, company news, trade media, and social media.
After applying a filter to remove irrelevant articles, the remaining articles are further analysed and scored for relevance, quality, and categorisation. The resulting articles and posts will be available as either a ‘news flow’ containing all significant news linked to particular companies, or as an ‘ESG Incidents’ feed which captures all coverage linked to specific issues.
GaiaLens co-founder and head of ESG Technology Gordon Tveito-Duncan, explained that the goal of the service is to make ESG news available when it can do the most good, saying, “ESG structured data, such as carbon emissions reports are sparse, unstandardised and slow. For some environmental metrics there is a two year delay in reporting… Processing this news data in real-time allows us to capture the ESG momentum of a given company and chart any progress in improving their overall ESG score.”
GaiaLens is not alone in seeing the growing value of tracking ESG metrics. At Springwise, we have seen a rapid growth of products targeting this market. We have recently covered a new marketplace aimed at helping consumers to track sustainability of individual products, a platform that helps companies monitor employee carbon emissions and a free-to-use tool to help investors better integrate ESG into investment decisions.
Written By: Lisa Magloff