Smart Innovators: Climate & ESG Financial Markets Solutions

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Executive Summary

Since 2019, investor interest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) has rapidly grown across a wide variety of asset classes and now covers the full spectrum of financial products. This report provides a detailed benchmark of the capabilities of 45 ESG information, analytics, ratings and data providers. Verdantix analysis finds that seven provider categories form the ESG financial solutions market: 1) financial information providers, 2) credit rating agencies, 3) stock exchanges, 4) index providers, 5) fintech software platforms, 6) ESG disclosure data aggregators, and 7) geo-spatial data specialists. An active acquisitions market has also enabled market leaders in other industries to offer a comprehensive solution in the ESG financial solutions market – this report outlines the four key ESG acquisition trends. Heads of ESG at financial firms should use this report to inform their decision making around ESG solution adoption for 2021 and beyond. 

Table of contents

State Of The Market For ESG Financial Markets Solutions 
The Financial Market Ecosystem Is Grappling With Powerful ESG Trends
Regulators And Rule Setters Have Made ESG Integration Mandatory, Not Optional
Acquisitions And Investments Have Reshaped The Financial ESG Solution Provider Landscape

Financial ESG Solutions Assessment Clarifies Decision Support Available To Investors 
Buy-Side Customer Needs Determine The Financial ESG Solutions Available
A Diverse Mix Of Solution Providers Sell Into The Financial ESG Market 
The Financial ESG Solutions Market Will Continue To Expand Exponentially

Table of figures

Figure 1. Global Sustainable Fund Inflows  
Figure 2. ESG Acquisitions Summary For 2021  
Figure 3. ESG Financial Solution Definitions  
Figure 4. Seven Categories Of Background For ESG Financial Solution Providers  
Figure 5–1. Primary Data Acquisition Capabilities Assessment    
Figure 5–2. Primary Data Acquisition Capabilities Assessment    
Figure 6–1. ESG Financial Solution Capabilities Assessment    
Figure 6–2. ESG Financial Solution Capabilities Assessment    

Organisations mentioned

DESOTEC Activated Carbon, Aberdeen Asset Management, Accern, alva, Anesco, Apax, Apex Group, Ara Partners, Arabesque, Baringa Partners, Beyond Ratings, BlackRock, Blackstone, Bloomberg, Bluefield, Boohoo, Campbell Global, Carbon Delta, CDP Worlwide, Clarity AI, Clear Sky Analytics, Convercent, Cority, Covalence, CRSHub, CyberGrants, Deutsche Börse, E4tech, Energy Impact Partners (EIP), EnHelix, Entelligent, Envizi, EQT Private Equity, Equileap, ERM, ESG Enterprise, European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), Europen Commission, FactSet, FigBytes, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), FinScience, Fitch Ratings, Four Twenty Seven, FTSE Russell, G7 , Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Global Reserve Group (GRG), GMI Ratings, Green Technical Advisory Group, Guidehouse Insights, Her Majesty's Treasury, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), IdealRatings, IHS Markit, Impact-Cubed, Index Industry Association (IIA), Inrate, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), Invesco Real Estate, IQ-EQ, iShares, J.P. Morgan, Jupiter Intelligence, KKR, LaSalle Investment Management, Loan Syndications & Trading Association (LSTA), London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), Matter, MioTech, Moody's, Morningstar, MSCI, Munich Re, NASDAQ, NGP Energy Technology Partners (ETP), Novisto, Nuveen, Oekom Research, OMERS Private Equity, OneTRust, OpenInvest, OWL Analytics, Persefoni, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Project Canary,, Q-GRG Ventures, Quantum Energy Partners, Refinitiv, Reporting Exchange, RepRisk, Rice Investment Group, RIMES, RobescoSAM, RS Metrics, S&P Global, Sallyport Investments, Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), Sensefolio, Singapore Stock Exchange, Solactive, Sphera, SquareWell Partners, STOXX, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Sustainalize, Sustainalytics, Swiss Re, SynTao Green Finance, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), The Climate Service, The Sunday Times, Trucost, Truvalue Labs, UL, United Nations (UN), Urgentem, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Vigeo Eiris, Volvo, Waud Capital Partners, WeSustain, White Star Capital, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

About the authors

Sam Renshaw

Industry Analyst

Sam is an Industry Analyst in the ESG & Sustainability practice. His current research agenda focuses on ESG solutions across financial markets including ESG information providers and sustainability consulting. Sam joined Verdantix in 2021, and previously worked at Moody’s Analytics as part of the Buy-Side Solutions team. He holds a BSc from The University of Nottingham in Economics and is a CFA Level 2 candidate.

David Metcalfe

David is the CEO of Verdantix and co-founded the firm in 2008. Based on his 20 years of experience in technology strategy and research roles he provides guidance on digital strategies to C-level executives at technology providers, partners at private equity firms and function heads at large corporations. His current focus is on helping clients understand their market opportunity tied to ESG investment trends and their impact on corporate sustainability strategies. During his 12 years running Verdantix – including 4 leading the New York office – he has helped dozens of clients grow their businesses through fund raising, acquisitions and international growth. David was previously SVP Research at Forrester and Head of Analysis & Forecasting at BT. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University and also worked as a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School.

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