Research house EIRIS launches ESG service for emerging markets

Screens available for more than 800 companies

EIRIS, the UK-based environmental, social and governance (ESG) research company, has launched an emerging markets service.

The new offering provides different packages of research enabling investors to screen and track compliance across a broad universe of 800 companies – or “drill down” to look at ESG risk factors at the largest 300.

The broadest offering screens companies for compliance with international conventions, involvement in controversial businesses such as alcohol, gambling and tobacco. And firms are also assessed on their involvement controversial weapons.

The more detailed analysis looks in more detail at the largest 300 firms’ ESG risk factors.

EIRIS already works with stock exchanges in South Africa and Mexico in helping to develop sustainability indices.The service makes use of research partners in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.

“You can now do responsible investing in emerging markets,” said EIRIS Executive Director Peter Webster at a launch event in London.

The launch came as the firm released a survey showing that responsible investors’ allocations to emerging markets have increased by almost 30% since 2009. The survey of 44 respondents found that around a quarter of investors have increased their exposure in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

The report – Evolving markets: what’s driving ESG in emerging economies? – points out that stock exchanges in countries like Brazil and South Africa have “leapfrogged” their developed market peers by creating advanced ESG listing requirements, sustainability indices and other products to drive disclosure.