EU to look at “state of play” of sustainability ratings and research market as part of Action Plan

€250,000 contract will also establish an inventory and classification of actors and sustainability products/services

The European Commission’s financial services directorate has put out another tender as part of its Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, this time for a study on sustainability ratings and research.

The Commission is looking for “recommendations and best practices” to “stimulate demand and improve the quality of supply” of ESG ratings and research, a topic taken up in action six of the EU’s Action Plan.

It comes as Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission and the financial services directorate, called on the EU Council – made up of the representatives from each member state – to strike a deal this year on the Action Plan’s proposed green taxonomy, which is essential, he said, in fighting “greenwashing”.

“To decide on sustainable or green investment, you first need to know what is green,” Dombrovskis told the Financial Times. “In this way you avoid greenwashing, you provide clarity for investors which have those sustainability considerations.”

A summer-long public consultation on the draft taxonomy is currently underway although there’s no political agreement in place.In June, RI reported on the polarised response to the proposal by the market.

The latest tender is the second to be put out in recent weeks by the Directorate General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), the department responsible for EU policy on banking and finance, headed up by Dombrovskis.

The successful tenderer for the nine-month, €250,000 contract will:

(i) provide a state of play of the sustainability-related products and services market;
(ii) establish an inventory and classification of actors and sustainability products/services available in the market;
(iii) explore the use and quality of sustainability-related products and services; and
(iv) provide recommendations and best practices to stimulate demand and improve the quality of supply.

The deadline for applications is September 23.

Last week RI reported that DG FISMA was tendering for a study into the “development of tools and mechanisms for the integration of ESG factors into the EU Banking Prudential Framework and into banks’ business strategies and investment policies”.