In 2019, the Global ESG Monitor (GEM) was conducted for the first time by cometis and KOHORTEN starting with an analysis of DAX® and MDAX®-listed German companies.

ESG issues do not stop at the border

Following this initial pilot study, cometis and KOHORTEN cooperated to design a proprietary analysis method to be used in future studies – the GEM ASSAY™. Recognising that ESG issues do not stop at the border, cometis and KOHORTEN (Germany) formed an international partnership with Currie (Australia) and Xenophon Strategies (USA) in 2020. As a result, this year’s research has become global. The Global ESG Monitor now covers three continents and over 250 companies from six of the world’s largest stock market indices.

A variety of research methods

Global ESG Monitor’s research analysts use a variety of research methods and developed a proprietary analysis method, GEM ASSAY™, which uses data along with quality-evaluation criteria such as comprehensibility, transparency, measurability, comparability, timeliness, adequacy and reliability.

543 data points

GEM’s research methodology accounts for industry-specific characteristics and is based upon a maximum of 543 data points, 53 of which are general and 490 industry-specific. General indicators include alignment with frameworks, risk management approach, objectives, and dialogue with stakeholders.

Indicators based on SASB standards

The industry-specific indicators are based on the SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) standards that were developed to operationalise and attempt to standardise corporate ESG reporting. The SASB Standards are comprised of 981 “accounting metrics” that are attributed to a total of 77 different industries from 11 sectors. One strong reason for choosing the SASB Standards was that this non-profit is collaborating with CDP, CDSB, IIRC, and GRI to simplify the corporate reporting landscape.

Global ESG Monitor uses 490 indicators

GEM’s research methodology looked for data and discussion that aligned with the SASB accounting metrics in a company’s primary industry, whether or not the company intentionally used SASB Standards. Therefore, GEM ultimately had to reduce the number of accounting metrics by removing 19 industries that were not part of the sample along with their specific indicators. The remaining 517 SASB accounting metrics were further reduced by eliminating 27 criteria that were US-specific and not applicable to other world regions. The final set of SASB accounting metrics we used comprises 490 indicators.