World Bank launches Sovereign ESG Platform

Investors will now have access to key data sets on sovereign issuers

The World Bank has launched a portal that allows investors the research sovereign issuers globally.

The free-to-use Sovereign ESG Data Portal has been built to equip investors with more detailed ESG information on sustainable development policy indicators and provide information which may support private sector investment in emerging markets and developing countries.

“Although investors have long been aware that ESG information is relevant and, in many cases critical, for their investments, it has been a challenge for investors to make well-informed decisions due to lack of experience and data,” explained Hiro Mizuno, executive managing director and chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund.

“This ESG data portal will improve the quality, scope, transparency, and timeliness of publicly available ESG data, and gives investors and others the opportunity to benefit from research and field work experience.”

Fixed income investors typically buy sovereign debt in emerging and developing nations to support sustainable development and for the higher yield on offer. However, there has long been frustration among market participants about the lack of available ESG information that is publicly available on these issuers.

“Our team has worked very hard to meet this demand and we are very happy to launch the sovereign ESG platform,” George Richardson, director of capital markets at the World Bank Treasury, added.

“This platform aims to advance both the use and understanding of ESG data to channel more capital to sustainable development.”

The World Bank said it plans to build on the data sets initially available at a launch, in the coming months, with plans to add additional information on human capital, poverty, natural capital, and stranded assets.

The Sovereign ESG Data Portal is available here.