OS-Climate mulls supporting role for regulator-backed ESG databases

The platform recently launched three climate analytics tools for public use.

ESG data initiative OS-Climate is looking at opportunities to support regulators in their development of ESG data hubs.

The initiative, which is the first of its kind to implement an open-source model within the ESG data space, has already attracted big name institutions including Allianz, S&P Global, Goldman Sachs, Federated Hermes, the London Stock Exchange Group, Microsoft and Amazon.

All data and analytics housed in OS-Climate are available to the public at no cost, however members can leverage its resources to develop their own commercial offerings and have a say in the platform’s strategic direction.

Partnering with a regulatory-backed initiative would be a significant coup for OS-Climate, which launched limited functionality on its platform last week.

The most prominent of those currently in the works is the European Single Access Point, which will collate all sustainability disclosures made across the bloc.

Others include the One Planet Data Hub, a global open-data platform proposed by the French government in partnership with Bloomberg, and an Oxford-led research centre which has received £10 million in funding from the UK government.

OS-Climate CEO Truman Semans confirmed that engagements are ongoing with a number of unnamed regulators but did not provide additional details.

“The differentiating factor of OS-Climate is that our governance and resources are implemented in a way that is completely transparent and we operate in a non-profit environment. There are no black boxes and that is crucially important.

“Our ESG data portal, known as the data commons, is built to function as a library of libraries, which could support the sort of official government-mandated single access points which are being planned. While it is too soon to say whether we will actually tender for these procurements, we have been in conversation with some regulators and demonstrating how our infrastructure can be used to support their goals for market-wide access to critical ESG data.”

OS-Climate’s data commons, which is not yet operational, is now being populated in collaboration with its partners.

Meanwhile the platform has recently launched three analytical climate tools. BNP Paribas led the development of the first, which allows users to assess their exposures to physical climate risk and forecast extreme climate events.

The second tool, developed by project lead Allianz with support from Ortec Finance, can assess investment portfolios against the Paris agreement’s climate goals, based on a portfolio-alignment methodology developed by the TCFD.

The final tool will enable companies to model transition risks for key climate-aligned decisions. The tool was developed by Airbus for the transport industry but can be modified to suit various users.

“There are significant public interest use cases for these tools so it’s vitally important that the NGO community and public bodies have access, in addition to supporting investor decision-making and stewardship functions. Climate risks are material but have not been priced in by many despite their significant exposure,” said OS-Climate’s Semans.

The platform is in the process of establishing an independent research and academic advisory body, which will be responsible for ensuring that tools and other resources hosted by the platform are consistent with “the best science and scholarship”.

OS-Climate plans to organise a number of deep-dive demonstrations of its live tools later this year and is continuing to seek new members.