The Business Times – BANKS and corporates will now have greater access to, and a better ability to assess and compare, environmental, social and governance (ESG) data from businesses around the world, thanks to an upgraded version of the ESGpedia platform launched on Tuesday (May 23).
In particular, it will include a simplified self-assessment tool aimed at lowering the barriers to entry for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Singapore-based ESG registry was launched one year ago. It powers Greenprint ESG Registry, one of the four digital utility platforms housed under Project Greenprint, which the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is developing in partnership with the industry.
Fintech firm Hashstacs (Stacs), which is behind ESGpedia, said version 2.0 has greater data coverage, enhanced solutions and analytics as well as assessment tools, to help financial institutions, corporates and SMEs achieve their decarbonisation and strategic sustainability goals.
It covers over five million sustainability disclosure data points, with more than 180,000 companies’ sustainability data. Of the latter, more than 73,000 company profiles have full corporate data overlaid and standardised by an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered engine run by Stacs.
This allows banks and corporates to access accurate, consistent and comparable data on one registry, for the purposes of sustainable financing, ESG risk monitoring of portfolios and monitoring the sustainability performance of suppliers.
Enhanced solutions such as Green Credentials Checker and Supplier Sustainability Monitoring, to name two, are tipped to help financial institutions scale up their green financing deals and deepen their client engagement, among other outcomes.
Stacs’ recent efforts also pay particular attention to SMEs, in recognition of the need for more granular asset-level data.
It has partnered the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network (ESBN) to launch the ESBN Asia-Pacific Green Deal for Businesses programme on ESGpedia. This provides a digitalised and simplified self-assessment tool meant to lower the barriers to entry for corporates and SMEs, in order to help them kick-start their sustainability journey; it will help SMEs report metrics that are aligned with stakeholders’ needs for consistent, comparable and shareable data.
Stacs noted that while SMEs represent 90 per cent of business supply chains around the world, they typically lack sufficient resources, making the ESG reporting and sustainability process daunting and challenging. It is hoped that these efforts will help to plug the ESG data gap that exists in terms of coverage for SMEs across Asia and, especially, Asean.
With a focus on this region, ESGpedia aggregates ESG certificates, credentials, and sustainability disclosure data points from a vast range of global verified sources. A company’s data points from disparate sources will be harmonised into a single verified and standardised ESG profile through the use of AI, giving banks and corporates a holistic view of all its ESG efforts.
“Combined with our expanded data coverage across certifications and credentials, the ESBN Asia-Pacific Green Deal self-assessment allows us to rapidly grow our primary data coverage of companies, especially SMEs, to better serve the needs of our users,” said Benjamin Soh, founder and managing director of Stacs.
Zhang Zhaoqi, head of ecosystem and partnership, green fintech office at MAS, who delivered the opening address at the launch event, said Greenprint 2.0 will be unveiled later this year. MAS will also be launching its marketplace some time in the future to pull the “current loose federation of platforms” under one roof.
“Eventually, this marketplace will help to support and enhance the visibility and discoverability of ESG data and ESG solutions,” he said.
Image by: Stacs