GISR Announces 4-Part Strategy to Expand Market for Sustainability Ratings and Research

GISR Announces 4-Part Strategy to Expand Market for Sustainability Ratings and Research

Center for Ratings Excellence (CORE) Program provides tools for investors and companies to realize value of high-quality sustainability ratings and research
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GISR Announces 4-Part Strategy to Expand Market for Sustainability Ratings and Research
Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 11:35am

CONTENT: Press Release

BOSTON, April 2, 2015 /3BL Media/ - The Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) today announced the launch of its Center for Ratings Excellence (CORE) Program designed to accelerate the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the global financial markets.

In 2014, sustainability-oriented assets under management eclipsed $20 trillion, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. These investments are shaped by a growing market for sustainability research and ratings from more than 100 organizations covering more than 50,000 companies on approximately 10,000 performance metrics.

“ESG investing has grown rapidly over the past decade, and the market for sustainability ratings and research is poised to track that growth. We envision this becoming a billion-dollar annual market,” said Mark Tulay, chief operating officer of GISR. “The CORE Program we are announcing today will bring increased transparency, clarity and insights to investors and companies, and it will set in motion a virtuous circle of value creation, where growth in ESG investing is accelerated by high quality ratings, and vice versa.”

CORE encompasses four strategic workstreams:

  • Framework: As the foundation for CORE, the Framework includes GISR’s Principles for ratings excellence, and an associated Accreditation program to encourage transparency, rigor and usability.
  • Hub: The first searchable online database of ESG ratings products enabling investors to make informed decisions on the ESG ratings and research best suited to their needs.
  • Labs: Cutting-edge research and development activities that create new knowledge and enhance the theory and practice of ratings.
  • Convenings: In-person and online events to foster shared learning and dissemination of best practices among raters, investors, companies and other stakeholders.

The CORE Program was developed with the support of leading ESG ratings and research firms, including CDP and Vigeo, whose products will represent the first entries in CORE’s online ratings Hub. By visiting this database, investors, companies and consumers will be able to search for and compare among hundreds of sustainability ratings products.

“CDP is a strong supporter of GISR and is committed to transparency.  We are pleased to be one of the first participants in its ratings Hub,” said Lance Pierce, president of CDP North America. “We expect that providing high-quality, comparable information about ESG ratings and research will lead to even greater uptake and adoption of ESG information in capital markets, and we encourage other providers to contribute to this important resource.”

“Integration of extra financial research is at a tipping point. The mainstream market is beckoning, and demand is increasing for high quality and trusted ESG research. In a growing market, transparency and accountability are key priorities,” said Fouad Benseddik, director of methodology at Vigeo. “Our expectation is that the work of GISR will provide a helpful platform through which best practice and high standards in ESG research can be identified. As such, Vigeo is pleased to be involved in this important initiative.”

As part of its collaborative practice, GISR also invites companies and investors to join its Stakeholder program. Today, UPS joins this group, which also includes Deutsche Bank, Pax World Fund, Bloomberg LP, and The Walt Disney Company.

“Sustainable business is about risk, opportunity and transparency. UPS is proud to support GISR's drive for market transparency, innovation and continuous improvement by becoming a Stakeholder in the CORE program,” said Steve Leffin, global director of sustainability at UPS. “GISR’s tools, including its ratings Hub, will help us to improve, and obtain recognition for, our sustainability planning and performance.”

CORE Labs are another important component of GISR’s mission to advance excellence in the concepts and practice ESG ratings. GISR has already scheduled two Labs, both of which will be announced during 2015.

“Labs are the R&D component of CORE, where cutting-edge concepts and tools will be developed in collaboration with investors, companies and raters,” said Dr. Allen White, GISR founder. “CORE provides a platform for joint engagement of all players committed to transparency and rigor in ESG integration. In this way, the larger goal of sustainable financial markets will be best served.”

For more information about GISR’s CORE Program, please visit

About GISR

The Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) is a global non-profit initiative to drive transparency and excellence in environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, ratings, rankings and indices.  By advancing a framework of excellence in financial market ratings, GISR aims to accelerate the integration of ESG factors in corporate and investment decision-making. GISR was launched in June 2011 as a joint program of Ceres and Tellus Institute.  For more information, visit

Ceres and the Tellus Institute are the founding conveners of the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR).


Brian Bowen
+1 (617) 257-6626
Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings
CATEGORY: Environment