Institutional Shareholder Services’ (ISS) responsible investment arm, ISS ESG, announced today the launch of Collaborative Engagement Services, aimed at enabling joint outreach and dialogue by investors with companies on issues focused on key material sustainability-related themes.

The new services are base on two key solutions provided by ISS ESG, including Pooled Engagement, and a new ISS ESG Thematic Engagement Solution. Pooled Engagement is a norm-based engagement tool allowing joint investor dialogue with approximately 100 listed companies annually that have been identified as failing to address or prevent controversies such as violations of human rights, labor rights, environment and corruption-related recognized international standards. The new thematic engagement solution, which will go live in January 2022, focuses on key ESG themes, based on selected UN SDGs, including Climate Action (SDG 13) focused on Net Zero goals, Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Gender Diversity (SDG 5), and the biodiversity-focused Life Below Water/On Land (SDGs 14/15). The new solution prioritizes outreach to around 30 underperforming companies for each theme, with a two-year engagement cycle.

Edouard Dubois, Global Head of Stewardship & Engagement, ISS ESG said:

“The structured dialogue process encourages broader corporate disclosure on ESG issues, metrics and the link to corporate strategy, to enable enhanced sustainable investment decision-making by investors and improved market efficiency.”

ISS ESG will formulate clearly articulated goals for each thematic engagement, and will provide baseline benchmark information, and refer to specific laws, standards and norms. The service will also include an online engagement tracking tool, allowing investors to opt in or out of specific engagements, perform analysis of engagement dialogue, and report on ongoing or completed engagements. The tool is currently available for Pooled Engagement, and expected to be available for users of the thematic engagement solution by the end of 2022.

Dr. Maximilian Horster, Head of ISS ESG said:

“ISS ESG’s Collaborative Engagement Services facilitates cost-effective investor stewardship compliance and reporting, by leveraging ISS ESG’s expertise, research and data to facilitate the identification of key performance indicators for corporate ESG improvement and momentum, aligned with recognized standards.”