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Sustainalytics’ Blog Series Focuses on the ESG Implications of COVID-19

April 14, 2020, New York – Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of ESG research, ratings and data, is focusing on the ESG implications of COVID-19 in a new series of research-based blog articles.  The current global pandemic has led institutional investors around the world to look closer at how ESG risks may impact companies within their portfolios. To aid investors’ thinking on the most material ESG issues facing industries and governments in the face of the pandemic, Sustainalytics’ Research team leveraged its ESG Risk Ratings – the market industry standard – and its Country Risk Ratings to produce several timely and insightful articles. Below is a summary:

  • Coronavirus and the Localization of Supply Chains  Leveraging Sustainalytics’ Supply Chain Management indicator, the firm provides an insightful glimpse at corporate supply chain strategy, and discusses the renewed consideration of local supply chains given the disruption caused by COVID-19. The firm expects the pandemic to catalyze a range of efforts by management teams to better understand the vulnerabilities of their supply chain.
  • Coronavirus: Flattening the Misinformation Curve – Sustainalytics examines the current proliferation of misinformation about the pandemic, how social media companies are tackling the problem, and the performance of Alphabet, Facebook and Twitter against the firm’s product governance material ESG issue. While these social media giants have implemented new policies focused on misinformation surrounding COVID-19, a lack of transparency into their content moderation systems is common.
  • Coronavirus: Assessing the Effectiveness of Government Responses – Leveraging its country-level ESG indicators, the firm finds different government effectiveness scores suggest some countries may struggle more than others to fully implement their coronavirus initiatives. The lack of relationship between the number of physicians and coronavirus testing also implies countries with more physicians are not necessarily better prepared to manage the pandemic.
  • Coronavirus: Risks and Opportunities in the Healthcare Industry – Sustainalytics finds healthcare companies with positive product governance scores may be better able to navigate regulatory and stakeholder pressures in the race to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus. In addition, the pandemic could catalyze a new wave of management and investor interest in improving the transparency of medical supply chains.
  • Coronavirus, Oil Prices and ESG: Three Key Takeaways for Investors – Sustainalytics notes ESG data related to supply chain and health and safety management systems will offer critical insights for investors in the months ahead. In addition, the firm believes that despite the recent collapse in oil prices, investor interest in renewable energy is not likely to diminish.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic further underscores the critical role that ESG considerations play in investment decision-making,” said Doug Morrow, Sustainalytics’ Head of Portfolio Research.  “Protecting human health and safety, effectively managing supply chains, and ensuring solid product governance has never been more important to safeguarding the well-being of society and long-term shareholder value.”

Sustainalytics’ Research team members will continue to cover the ongoing ESG impact of COVID-19. To read the Blog articles, please click here.

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