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Bloomberg Launches Its Own ESG Scores

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In yet another sign of the growing popularity of sustainable investing, Bloomberg is launching proprietary ESG scores.

The initial offering includes environmental and social, or ES, scores for 252 oil and gas companies, and governance (board composition) scores for more than 4,300 companies in multiple industries. The scores are available to Bloomberg terminal users.

Bloomberg said it’s starting ES scores with the oil and gas sector because these companies typically provide “stronger disclosure data” than others. Also, they account for more than half of carbon dioxide emissions related to fuel combustion and generate 15% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.

Related: DOL’s ESG Proposal Blasted in Public Comments

The board composition (or Governance) scores assesses board diversity, as well as the board supervision of corporate management and any risks within a board’s structure.

Boards are ranked across four key focus areas: diversity, tenure, over-boarding (when a board member sits on too many individual boards of directors) and independence.

“ESG data is critical to the investment process,” said Patricia Torres, global head of Bloomberg Sustainable Finance Solutions, in a statement. “By providing transparent ESG data and scores, we are helping investors decode raw data that is otherwise hard to compare across companies.”

The scores also provide companies with “a valuable, quantitative and normalized benchmark” to highlight their own ESG performance, and they give investment and financial professionals “transparent scoring methodologies and underlying data” that help them  make informed decisions, said Torres.

More Details on Offering

The new proprietary ESG scores are data-driven measures of corporate ESG performance across multiple financial, business and industry issues, which investors and advisors can use to compare one company’s corporate practices to another within its industry.

They are “fully transparent” about their methodology and the company reported data that underlies them, according to Bloomberg.

In addition to ESG scores, the news and data service offer includes data-driven insights that support ESG integration within the investment process, such as analytics and research workflows, access to news and research and standardization of company and third party data.

Multiple studies from Morningstar and S&P Global, which launched its own proprietary ESG scores in May, and others have shown that investments in companies with high ESG scores and funds that invest in those companies tend to outperform other companies.

More recently, Harvard Business School Professor George Serafeim and State Street Associates researchers found companies that protected their labor forces and supply chains during this year’s stock-market drawdown saw more net inflows from institutional investors and better returns than their industry peers.