European financial services associations call for public ESG data register

A group of European financial services associations has published a joint letter proposing the development of a centralised public register for ESG data. The register would provide comparable information on responsibility at company level. Finance Finland (FFI) has been calling for the creation of such a register since early 2020.

EU regulation requires that investors operating in the financial market need to have access to reliable and commensurable data on the ESG actions of the companies they are considering as investment targets. ESG – short for environmental, social and governance – measures how well the companies take ESG factors into account, and how their operations affect the environment and the society.

All EU countries should share a minimum-level ESG reporting model. In time, it could be evolved into a global standard. There are already several reporting practices in the market, so the model does not have to be built completely from scratch.

The Finnish financial sector proposes Eurostat or one of the other EU statistical offices as the logical choice for the register’s development and administration. Reporting to the register should be voluntary.

“The incentive for companies would be added visibility and the promotion of their reputation as sustainable companies, which is useful when acquiring funding. Funding could become more expensive for companies that are not ESG compliant. The register would make it easier to compare investment targets, and would increase the impact of responsible investing”, says Elina Kamppi, head of sustainability at FFI.

Read the associations’ joint letter here.