Global exchange and clearing house operator Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and sustainability risk modelling startup risQ announced today the launch of a new data service aimed at enabling investors to understand and score the social impact of an investment.

The scores will be applied to the municipal bond market, in order to assess how investments in public works, parks, schools, libraries and other infrastructure impact local populations, in order to help investors compare similar bonds by other municipalities in terms of impact.

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Lynn Martin, President of Fixed Income and Data Services at ICE, said:

“These new social impact scores provide a deeper level of socioeconomic and demographic data on the municipal bond market, enhancing the decision-making process for investors as they execute their sustainable and socially-conscious investing strategies. By building on risQ’s expertise with geospatial climate and social data, we’re able to provide market participants with the transparency they need to quantitatively analyze and compare securities and the potential social impact of investments across different communities.”

The solution provides social impact scores leveraging variables from multiple public data sources and peer-reviewed statistical methods, designed to signal the potential social benefit of an investment within a specific area. The scores are mapped to ICE’s U.S. municipal bond reference data, providing an additional metric for customers to use to evaluate an investment or a portfolio. Social inputs utilized in the scores include affluence, poverty, education, employment, housing costs, racial diversity, and health challenges.

Evan Kodra, CEO of risQ, said:

“Investors and market participants want ways to quantify and appropriately understand the potential impact of their investment, and this new service that we’ve created with ICE helps do that. Whether investors are aligning their investment program with their values and mission or if they’re seeking to better quantify and understand the social impact of potential investment opportunities, these resources provide clearer insights into those goals.”