Inderscience Publishers

Socially responsible investing: sustainability indices, ESG rating and information provider agencies

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Currently, there are many sustainability indices and environmental, social and governance rating and information provider agencies (ESG IPAs). These organisations study companies in terms of sustainability, that is, economic, social, environmental and corporate governance criteria. But which are the criteria used to evaluate? This paper exhibits an exhaustive overview about the different criteria for evaluation used by sustainability indices and ESG agencies. The sample comprises a group of six sustainability indices and ten ESG agencies. The importance of the sustainability indices and ESG agencies is increasing in terms of encouraging the implementation of responsible corporate policies. This is considered as an important research topic because of the growth of social responsible financial markets, and the fact that investors are demanding more and more information about these topics. The results suggest that the methods currently being used by ESG agencies and sustainability indices are diverse and show a lack of standardisation.

Keywords: environmental IPAs, social IPAs, governance IPAs, information provider agencies, ESG rating agencies, sustainable economy, sustainability indices, socially responsible investing, corporate social responsibility, CSR

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