Hit enter to search or ESC to close

logo-block
alva
Get in touch
logo-block-tablet

ESG

The acceleration of investment in ESG (Environmental, social and governance) portfolios has been matched only by the proliferation of third-party ESG content and the speed of its dissemination. However, the measurement of ESG remains in its infancy and is currently hindered by measurement which is voluntary, partial and opaque, making it hard to understand the materiality of ESG risks and opportunities.  Here we unpack the alva view on what it is, how to measure it and how it can be leveraged as a strategic asset.

Articles

Case studies

ESG

ESG intelligence, the new challenge for businesses

The numbers across all stakeholders are compelling. Whether it be the trillions of dollars now invested in ESG indices, consumer stated purchasing preferences or graduate choice of employer, ESG matters. For businesses, the challenge is to understand and then enhance their ESG perception among these and other important groups. This is now the key factor in long-term, sustainable growth.

Articles

1. What are ESG ratings?

In a market where investors are demanding insight into companies’ sustainability credentials, ESG ratings can provide a means of measurement. But with a lack of consistency, opaque methodology and restricted source material, there isn’t a standout solution.

Read full article

2. Inconvenience and ESG reputation

For businesses, there is a fine balance to be struck between establishing the genuine, long-term nature of their ESG stances through valuing virtue over convenience and the actual alienation of the customer stakeholder group.

Read full article

3. How ESG risks can affect your business

The post-pandemic world will see an ever-greater focus on environmental, social, and governance issues. Business leaders need to be aware of how ESG risks can affect their company, and register stakeholders’ priorities in this area.

Read full article

4. How to measure ESG performance

ESG criteria have risen to the top of the list for investors and other stakeholder groups alike, but is it possible for an organisation to reliably quantify its ESG performance?

Read full article

5. ESG and financial performance

The identification of concrete links between ESG and financial performance will accelerate the uptake of ESG criteria as a prime driver in investment strategies. We look at the current evidence connecting ESG credentials with the bottom line.

Read full article

6. The ESG metrics that matter most to investors

As ESG criteria become increasingly important denominators among the investment community, specific metrics for measuring ESG performance are coming to the fore. But with such a broad range of issues falling under the ESG remit, investors should be considering a wider set of metrics, many of which are much harder to quantify. 

Read full article

7. What’s the difference between CSR and ESG?

Once CSR was the clarion call for companies looking to do good. But in an increasingly complex landscape, with myriad standards and criteria to judge corporate behaviour against, it has fallen out of step with the sustainability agenda. Enter ESG, the latest evolution of the intentions behind CSR, which provides a framework for greater transparency, greater efforts, and greater good.

Read full article

8. ESG and corporate stakeholders

The rise of stakeholder capitalism is being thrown into sharp focus through the ESG lens. Each stakeholder group encompasses its own risks and opportunities, and businesses need to be able to track and respond to them all.

Read full article

9. What is ESG Materiality?

Understanding materiality is a key part of business strategy, and with a growing emphasis on environmental, social and governance issues in the boardroom, assessing ESG materiality has become a corporate imperative.

Read full article

10. What is an ESG score and how is it calculated?

With environmental, social and governance issues growing in prominence in every sector, the ability to manage ESG risks and opportunities is increasingly important to the bottom line. But to calculate its ESG liability, a company first needs to know its ESG score

Read full article

11. ESG opportunities: how to create them

With so many new developments and related potential pitfalls surrounding ESG issues, businesses are understandably focused on minimising the risks. But alongside those risks lie commensurate ESG opportunities, ripe for development by organisations with a clear understanding of their ESG position.

Read full article

12. The difference between Sustainability and ESG policies

As the corporate world becomes more aware of the need to incorporate ESG criteria into business planning, it’s important to differentiate between sustainability goals and ESG practices. Sustainability is a central part of ESG policy; a sustainable business will have an ESG policy; but the remit of ESG extends far beyond the boundaries of sustainability.

Read full article

13. Building an ESG strategy for your business

With the rise of ESG investing and greater public pressure on all organisations to be transparent about their environmental, social and governance policies, it has become imperative for businesses to create an ESG strategy. But rather than a knee-jerk reaction to external influence, it should be built on a foundation of stakeholders’ preferences balanced against business priorities.

Read full article

14. What is ESG performance?

Just as ESG means different things to different organisations, depending on their perspectives and priorities, so the definition of ESG performance, whether good or bad, varies wildly between companies and sectors. Taking the measure of a business’s ESG performance requires an understanding of what that business’s ultimate goals are.

Read full article

15. Exploring the G in ESG

While ESG issues are gaining traction, and becoming common corporate parlance, the governance element is often overlooked. But although it may garner less attention, it is the bedrock on which sustainable, long-term value creation is built, and also underpins every organisation’s ability to achieve its environmental and social goals.

Read full article

16. What risk needs to know about ESG intelligence

With ESG considerations becoming a central element of corporate operations, risk management professionals need to be able to identify, manage and mitigate associated risks, quantifying existing liabilities and incorporating new elements into their ERM frameworks.

Read full article

17. The need for speed: sentiment analysis in ESG measurement

As ESG performance becomes ever more central to operational success, the key role sentiment analysis plays in tracking it needs to be recognised.

Read full article

Case studies

1. ESG Intelligence – Global Mining and Metals – Q3 2020

In the first of our monthly ESG sector profiles, we see the Mining sector average fall this quarter with a score of -6. Negativity is mainly driven by Community relations (-54%) Human rights (-14%) and Waste & hazardous materials management (-9%). Nine out of the eleven SASB-defined issue areas scored negatively on ESG in Q3. Download the full report here.
Read full case study

2. ESG Performance: Challenges and solutions in quantifying ESG opportunities and risks

The evolution of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria as a business management concept has experienced a rapid growth spurt in recent years. From the early days of corporate social responsibility (CSR), to the global drive to combat climate change, to the present scramble to win at diversity and inclusion, the value applied to different...
Read full case study

3. SA Financial Services ESG – H1 2021

In alva’s analysis of the Financial Services ESG landscape, prior to the July civil unrest, firms excel in social and environmental domestic commitments, but struggle in governance. Scores range from Momentum Metropolitan in first place at +50 to FirstRand with a score of -64, with the latter heavily weighed by Business Ethics criticism related to claims that the bank unfairly discriminates with interest...
Read full case study

4. Canada ESG – H1 2021

In the inaugural alva ESG index for Canadian companies, we see high scores and a strong overall performance. For most leaders, high scores are driven primarily by the social aspect of ESG. Companies with innovative and wide-reaching initiatives around employee inclusion and those focused on communities on both a local and national scale outperform those...
Read full case study

5. Mining ESG – April 2021 – June 2021

Newcrest (51) and Alcoa (51) take joint-lead of the Q2 Mining & Metals ESG index rising by +34 and +27 respectively, as both set ambitious goals for reaching net-zero emissions. The performance of Vale (-47) improves (+15) but the company continues to generate negative material impact as Brazilian authorities finish their investigation into the company’s...
Read full case study

6. Professional Services ESG – March 2021 – May 2021

This quarter, ESG scores improve across the board with the minor exception of Kearney which matches its previous score. Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton and PwC comprise the top 3 ranking, with positive drivers for these firms including Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, Human Rights & Community Relations and GHG Emissions, which each generate a positive...
Read full case study

7. Pharma ESG report – March 2021 – May 2021

With the current drive to supply the world with vaccines, there is much greater interest and visibility on pharma firms’ product quality and safety than ever before. J&J (-39) and AstraZeneca’s (-25) scores decline from the previous quarter as both their COVID-19 vaccines are linked with blood clots. Top performer Sanofi (+68) improves dramatically as it creates a non-profit unit to provide the...
Read full case study

8. Aerospace and Defence ESG report – February 2021 – April 2021

Overall material negativity decreases q-o-q in the alva Global Aerospace & Defence ESG ranking but is still impactful. Boeing (-63) falls to the bottom of the ranking, as it is affected by Product Safety issues. Bombardier Aerospace (-51) and Airbus (-46) both suffer from concerns around Data Security. The negative stories related to these companies dominate sector discussion, which is reflected in the high impact of...
Read full case study

9. UK Insurance ESG report – Q1 2021

Aviva (+59) secures 1st place in alva’s Q1 2021 UK Insurance ESG ranking, thanks to its leadership on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Aviva announces that it will become the first major insurer worldwide to set a net zero goal of 2040 – a decade earlier than most. Chief Executive Amanda Blanc warns that the insurance industry cannot “speak with a forked...
Read full case study

10. Alcohol ESG report – February 2021 – April 2021

Asahi (+70) secures 1st place in alva’s February – April 2021 Alcoholic Beverages ESG ranking, with impactful initiatives in Energy Management and Packaging announced. The brewer will offer cans of beer in exchange for solar power to Australian customers to meet its 2025 renewable power target and it is launching a ‘world-class’ plastic recycling facility. Environmental strategies remain a key focus, with visible...
Read full case study

11. ESG Intelligence – UK Banks – Q1 2021

Paragon (+58), Shawbrook (+42) and Virgin Money (+37) lead the ESG index for Q1 thanks to a focus on green products and energy-efficient mortgages. Nationwide leads the longer-term ESG index and receives praise this quarter for its commitment against fossil fuel financing. HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest and Standard Chartered collectively generate 65% of the share of voice but average an ESG score of -40,...
Read full case study

12. ESG Intelligence – Pharmaceuticals – 1st January 2021 to 30th April 2021

The Pharma sector sees its ESG perception improve, thanks to a focus on Employee Engagement and Diversity & Inclusion. The three top performing companies BI (+49), Biogen (+46), Astellas (+38) see the highest impact scores attributed in large part to Employee Engagement initiatives. Of the laggards, Affordability & Pricing dominates discussion in late-January due to...
Read full case study

13. ESG Intelligence – UK Banks – Q1 2021

Paragon (+58), Shawbrook (+42) and Virgin Money (+37) lead the ESG index for Q1 thanks to a focus on green products and energy-efficient mortgages. Nationwide leads the longer-term ESG index and receives praise this quarter for its commitment against fossil fuel financing. HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest and Standard Chartered collectively generate 65% of the share of voice but average an ESG score of -40,...
Read full case study

14. ESG Intelligence – Fashion Retailers – Q1 2021

M&S (+63) leads alva’s ESG index for the fashion sector with the launch of new sustainability standards for denim, using kinder dyes and 86% less water than industry average. Four of the top five companies focus on both inclusion and community relations initiatives, with Adidas’ ‘Watch Us Move’ programme, supporting women from all walks of life, helping them rank 2nd in the...
Read full case study

15. Inteligencia ESG – Minería y Metales – 2021

A nivel global, De Beers arrebata el liderazgo del sector a Newmont, debido a un mayor enfoque en la igualdad y sostenibilidad. Además Sibanye-Stillwater asciende al segundo lugar registrando la más elevada mejora q-o-q (intertrimestral) debido a su asociación con Johnson Matthey con el objetivo de encontrar usos más eficientes de los metales críticos que son utilizados en las baterías y así impulsar...
Read full case study

16. ESG Intelligence – Mining & Metals Sector – Q1 2021

De Beers takes the sector lead from Newmont, due to an increased focus on equality and sustainability. And Sibanye-Stillwater rises to second place with the best q-o-q improvement due to its partnership with Johnson Matthey to find more efficient uses of critical metals used in batteries to drive development of low carbon products and services....
Read full case study

17. ESG Intelligence – Cosmetics Sector – December 2020 to February 2021

In our 2021 analysis of the ESG performance of the Global Cosmetics sector, we see leading companies (Kao, P&G Beauty, ELC, Beiersdorf and Unilever) scoring highly by evolving packaging of prominent, daily-use brands and through clear progress in global indices, while nurturing investment in human capital. Supply chain scrutiny and lack of customer-facing ESG communications...
Read full case study

18. Professional Services’ ESG leadership undermined by ethics and integrity concerns

While the major Professional Services firms are lauded as key partners in achieving net zero emissions targets, as well as leaders in diversity and inclusion, these efforts are blunted by continued criticism over business ethics and professional integrity. Concerns over audit inaccuracies (Wirecard) and negative perceptions of firms profiting from Covid contracts, play into familiar...
Read full case study

19. ESG Intelligence – Pharmaceuticals – 1st December 2020 to 28th February 2021

The average ESG score (-20) for companies across the sector declines significantly in comparison to the previous three-month period. ‘Affordability & Pricing’ dominates discussion in late-January due to multiple price hikes across the sector, and again in mid-February as several companies refuse to sell therapies at the legally required 340B price; 12 firms score negatively...
Read full case study

20. ESG Intelligence – Alcoholic Beverages Report

In our 2021 Alcoholic Beverages ESG Index, we see a strong sector-wide start to the year buoyed by NoLo trends and climate commitments. Top performers lead with proactive Responsible Drinking & Marketing (+21) and Energy Management (+20) initiatives, as the sector grasps the nettle on its contentious areas. Download the full report here.
Read full case study

21. ESG Intelligence – UK Legal Sector – Q4 2020

The UK Legal sector has a moderately positive ESG profile entering 2021, with diversity & inclusion efforts leading the issue impact list with a positive impact of 46%. Remuneration disparity and misconduct are the key ESG risks for law firms. Firms that increased executive pay despite taking furlough support from government are frowned upon especially...
Read full case study

22. ESG Intelligence – Aerospace and Defence

The Global Defence & Aerospace sector sees a starkly negative end to 2020, with ongoing material risks related to Product Safety and Business Ethics heading into 2021. The most prominent company in both topics is Boeing, which has recently agreed to pay more than $2.5bn to settle a criminal probe with the US Justice Department....
Read full case study

23. ESG Intelligence – UK Banking – Q4 2020

In Q4 2020, individual UK bank scores range from a high of +59 (Nationwide) to a low of -62 (HSBC) with issues around scams, frauds and data security weighing heavily on the ratings. Several banks have little to no ESG profile presenting risks. Top performer Nationwide incentivises customers who want to make their home more...
Read full case study

24. ESG Intelligence – US Banking – Q4 2020

In Q4 2020, individual US bank ESG scores range from a high of +58 (Fifth Third Bank) to a low of -61 (Citi). Fifth Third ranks first, with positive material impact driven by its efforts regarding Financial Inclusion & Capacity Building, including the launch of the Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Initiative....
Read full case study

25. ESG Intelligence – Global Mining and Metals – Q4 2020

In Q4 2020, the mining sector improves considerably moving to above neutral ESG score. Newmont Corporation retains the lead of the index (+45) from De Beers (+35), with these companies’ proactive commitments significantly outweighing sporadic instances of ESG negativity. Rio Tinto (-43) continues to feel the negative impact of the sustained scrutiny around the Juukan...
Read full case study

26. ESG Intelligence – Pharmaceuticals – 1st August to 24th November 2020

In the second of our monthly ESG sector profiles, we see the Pharma industry enter positive territory with an average score of +10. Four out of nine material issue areas score negatively in Q3. Negative materiality is mainly driven by Affordability & Pricing (-22%), Business Ethics (-7%) and Safety of Clinical Trial Participants (-6%). Download...
Read full case study

27. ESG Performance: Challenges and solutions in quantifying ESG opportunities and risks

The evolution of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria as a business management concept has experienced a rapid growth spurt in recent years. From the early days of corporate social responsibility (CSR), to the global drive to combat climate change, to the present scramble to win at diversity and inclusion, the value applied to different...
Read full case study

28. ESG Intelligence – Global Mining and Metals – Q3 2020

In the first of our monthly ESG sector profiles, we see the Mining sector average fall this quarter with a score of -6. Negativity is mainly driven by Community relations (-54%) Human rights (-14%) and Waste & hazardous materials management (-9%). Nine out of the eleven SASB-defined issue areas scored negatively on ESG in Q3. Download the full report here.
Read full case study

ESG

Articles

Case studies

1. ESG Intelligence – Global Mining and Metals – Q3 2020 2. ESG Performance: Challenges and solutions in quantifying ESG opportunities and risks 3. SA Financial Services ESG – H1 2021 4. Canada ESG – H1 2021 5. Mining ESG – April 2021 – June 2021 6. Professional Services ESG – March 2021 – May 2021 7. Pharma ESG report – March 2021 – May 2021 8. Aerospace and Defence ESG report – February 2021 – April 2021 9. UK Insurance ESG report – Q1 2021 10. Alcohol ESG report – February 2021 – April 2021 11. ESG Intelligence – UK Banks – Q1 2021 12. ESG Intelligence – Pharmaceuticals – 1st January 2021 to 30th April 2021 13. ESG Intelligence – UK Banks – Q1 2021 14. ESG Intelligence – Fashion Retailers – Q1 2021 15. Inteligencia ESG – Minería y Metales – 2021 16. ESG Intelligence – Mining & Metals Sector – Q1 2021 17. ESG Intelligence – Cosmetics Sector – December 2020 to February 2021 18. Professional Services’ ESG leadership undermined by ethics and integrity concerns 19. ESG Intelligence – Pharmaceuticals – 1st December 2020 to 28th February 2021 20. ESG Intelligence – Alcoholic Beverages Report 21. ESG Intelligence – UK Legal Sector – Q4 2020 22. ESG Intelligence – Aerospace and Defence 23. ESG Intelligence – UK Banking – Q4 2020 24. ESG Intelligence – US Banking – Q4 2020 25. ESG Intelligence – Global Mining and Metals – Q4 2020 26. ESG Intelligence – Pharmaceuticals – 1st August to 24th November 2020 27. ESG Performance: Challenges and solutions in quantifying ESG opportunities and risks 28. ESG Intelligence – Global Mining and Metals – Q3 2020