New data platform will provide country-level sustainability performance information to increase transparency and support investment aligned with sustainable development
WASHINGTON, October 29, 2019 – The World Bank today launched the Sovereign ESG Data Portal: a free, open and easy to use online platform that provides users with sovereign-level environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. The portal is designed to help investors better align ESG analysis with key sustainable development policy indicators and analysis, as well as to increase data transparency and support private sector investments in emerging markets and developing countries.
“Although investors have long been aware that ESG information is relevant and in many cases critical for their investments - especially in developing countries, it has been a challenge for investors to make well-informed decisions due to lack of experience and data. This ESG data portal will improve the quality, scope, transparency, and timeliness of publicly available ESG data, and gives investors and others the opportunity to benefit from research and field work experience. GPIF trusts this data portal will improve and enhance the quality of investment decisions of our asset managers.” said Hiro Mizuno, Executive Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), Japan.
The Sovereign ESG Data Portal is comprised of 17 themes which were selected to provide a balanced picture of policy performance and country conditions, given data availability. The initial set of indicators is based on both current market and World Bank usage of these criteria. The framework incorporates 67 indicators in total, covering all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The data is available for download for all World Bank (IBRD and IDA) countries.
“Through our engagement with investors that buy World Bank bonds to support sustainable development, we know of this market segment’s strong interest for improved information that enables ESG analysis on investments. Our team has worked very hard to meet this demand and we are very happy to launch the sovereign ESG platform. This platform aims to advance both the use and understanding of ESG data to channel more capital to sustainable development,” said George Richardson, Director of Capital Markets at the World Bank Treasury.
A growing body of research demonstrating the importance of ESG criteria indicates the need for investors to manage and assess ESG risks and opportunities associated with their investments – for all asset classes, including bonds. As part of a research program with GPIF, the World Bank conducted research and hosted consultations with investors and ESG research firms to identify gaps in data availability and access.
“The World Bank Group plays a key role in developing sustainable finance solutions through capital markets, and the provision of quality, timely sovereign ESG data and tools is central to this effort. The launch of the Sovereign ESG Data Portal will support growing efforts by the financial sector to improve the sustainability of their investments,” said Alfonso Mora, Director of the World Bank’s Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice.
New indicators – including from geo-spatial and big data sources – on natural capital, human capital, poverty measures, stranded assets and other areas, are set to be developed and added to the portal in the future.
"The Sovereign ESG Data Portal is a great example of how better data can inform investment choices and lead to improved development outcomes,” said Haishan Fu, Director of the World Bank’s Development Data Group. “High-quality data is essential for investors to make sound decisions aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
The Sovereign ESG Data Portal project is supported by the Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening Initiative (FIRST) and Global Program on Sustainability (GPS) and managed by the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice in collaboration with the World Bank Treasury and Development Data Group.
The Sovereign ESG Data Portal is available here: http://esgdata.worldbank.org