Looking for Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings and scores?

Looking for Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings and scores?



By Lim Hwee Ming, Research Librarian, Accounting & Business

Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings have been a popular topic in investing as well as in academic research in recent years. 
What are some resources to get one started on this topic? In terms of literature, a good starting point would be a recent 2020 review by Professor Liang Hao - Corporate social responsibility and sustainable finance: A review of the literature as well as Inside the ESG ratings: (Dis)agreement and performance.

Beside the literature, another important resource is the data.

SMU’s Accounting and Finance Research Librarian has prepared a factsheet, FAQ as well as a summary table to compare the ratings, coverage and scope of the subscribed databases on ESG data from different database providers.

  • Table 1: Summary table on ESG ratings 

(Note: Rating metrics are subject to changes from the different rating agencies)

ESG Report Provider Background Coverage and data fields Rating metrics
Bloomberg ESG Data Bloomberg provides ESG metrics for over 11,500 companies across over 70 countries. Historical data since 2008 with more than 1,000 data fields, with global scope. Percentile scores (0-100)
Refinitiv ESG Company Scores Refinitiv EIKON provides ESG data for close to 9,000 companies. Scores are updated on a weekly basis.

Formerly known as Thomson Reuters ESG Research Data, ASSET4 scores are accessible through Datastream database.
Historical data since 2002 onwards, with more than 500 data metrics, with global scope.

Refer to the Refinitiv ESG scores from website.
Percentile rank scores (available in both percentage and letter grade from A+ to D-).
FactSet Truvalue Labs Truvalue Labs is the first company to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to provide high frequency ESG ratings from 19,000+ public and private companies. Historical data since 2007 for U.S. companies and since 2015 for non-U.S. companies, with 4 key scores and 26 metrics, with global scope. Percentile scores (0-100)
MSCI ESG Manager (Funded by the Singapore Green Finance Centre) ESG Ratings coverage of 14,000 companies representing more than 680,000 securities. ESG index history going back over 10 years for the MSCI World, back to 2013 for the MSCI Emerging Markets.

Refer to the MSCI ESG Indexes from website.
Letter grade (AAA-CCC)
S&P Global Ratings ESG Scores (Funded by LKCSB and SOA) S&P Global Rating offered both core and specific datasets. The core datasets are Environmental data, Carbon data (Scope 1, 2 and 3).

Other specific datasets include Trucost Environmental; Trucost Paris Alignment; Trucost Physical Risk and Trucost Carbon Earnings at Risk.
7,000+ companies in 2019. Environment data (15,000+ listed companies) since 2005, and since 2017 for Scope 3 downstream. ESG scores are also based on SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, providing total-, dimension- and criteria-level scores across 68 criteria and 61 industries.

Refer to the brochure from website.
Percentile scores (0-100)
Sustainalytics (via WRDS)(Funded by LKCSB) Sustainalytics an independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings, and analysis firm. Cover more than 4,500 companies and all major global indices. Historical coverage since 2009, with over 70 core and industry specific indicators.

Refer to the factsheet from website.
Percentile scores (0-100)

Further readings: