In What Rankings Should We Participate?

Making the right decision about relevant ESG Ratings
In What Rankings Should We Participate?
Publ. date 1 Oct 2015
The number of users of environmental, social, and governance data is increasing. Research of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board has shown that the majority of a company’s value is now driven by intangible assets.

As a consequence of the rising importance of ESG data and the growing number of organizations collecting those data, corporate investor relations departments can feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of requests and workload presented with responding to sustainability or ESG benchmarks, ratings, or surveys. But perhaps the question is, why should they bother in the first place?

The main value of participating lies in two different areas:

1. Value from learning: Richness
Gaining insights on your own performance by means of feedback and the possibility to compare your performance with competitors and other industry players. Aspects to consider here are:

  • What is the main focus of the ranking?
  • What is the depth of the questionnaire?
  • What is the level of personalized feedback on my own performance?

2. Value from communicating: Reach
Demonstrating leadership in sustainability through a credible third party. Aspects to consider from this perspective are:

  • Who is the initiator and what is the target group?
  • What is the recognition of the ranking?
  • How are results publicly communicated?

Since rankings are voluntary, companies are wise to opt for those few that matter the most. This raises the question on how to determine the most relevant rankings to which you need to allocate your resources to. Starting point is to determine your own objective. Will it be learning or communicating, or perhaps be both? Depending on the maturity of sustainability within the organization, one objective might be more relevant than the other. Companies that are just starting to implement sustainability measures into their strategies may find value for participation in form of learning, whereas the frontrunners are more looking for platforms to underline their excellence and therefore, driving value from communication. But of course, your company’s focus can also be on achieving both.

To learn more about the aspects to consider for both the learning as well as the communicating objective, download our Cheatsheet ESG Rankings.

About our ESG reporting services

With more than 10 years of experience in Dow Jones Sustainability Index support and a long-term collaboration with RobecoSAM, Finch & Beak is one of Europe’s leading experts in assisting companies with their submission to ESG benchmarks. Our work for (ex-) industry group leaders is characterized by a pragmatic approach that leverages existing assets in the short term, while identifying opportunities for strategic development in the future. Is your company looking for ESG reporting support? Please contact Nikkie Vinke, senior consultant, at or call +31 6 28 02 18 80.

About Nikkie Vinke

Seasoned advisor in ESG benchmarking, sustainability strategy and stakeholder engagement. |

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