Celebrating the best in ESG research
12 May 2021 at 4:08 pm
Climate change and social-focused research were just two of the topics recognised in this year’s ESG Research Australia Awards.
Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse have taken out awards for excellence in ESG research by a broker at the 11th Annual ESG Research Australia Awards.
The awards took place last week at the RI Australia 2021 conference from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA).
An additional award from RIAA was presented to the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility for new ESG research by a non-broker.
Supported by RIAA, ESG Research Australia is an Australian initiative comprising superannuation funds, fund managers and asset consultants with the single objective of increasing the quantity and quality of ESG broker research in Australia.
Emma Pringle, chair of the ESG RA Research Evaluation Committee, commended Credit Suisse, the winner of the best ESG broking firm, on its approach to research.
“From a high-quality field of ESG brokerage in Australia, the Credit Suisse ESG team stood out for their timely and relevant research pieces and outstanding client service. This is the second year running that Credit Suisse has won this award, a testament to their insight, responsiveness and accessibility,” Pringle said.
“In a year that started with drought, floods and fires, and will ultimately be defined by a global pandemic, the need for insightful research that integrates these environmental and social factors into investment impacts has never been clearer.”
This year’s nominated research covered each of the environmental, social and governance areas, with the largest portion and biggest increase on last year representing climate change.
Social-focused topics followed close behind, including cultural heritage research pieces on the back of the destruction of Juukan Gorge in May last year.
Modern slavery and human rights showed increased dominance in research aimed at informing and driving more responsible investment in Australia over the last year, following the far-reaching local and global impacts of COVID-19.
Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA and chair of ESG Research Australia, said this year saw a significant increase in the number of pieces of research being nominated. He suggested this reflected the ever-increasing focus on ESG from brokers and investors alike.
“The uptick in research focused on issues surrounding modern slavery, human and labour rights and First Nations people’s rights mirrors prominent events that have taken place over the last 12 months like the destruction of Juukan Geroge, the first reports under the Modern Slavery Act, and of course COVID-19,” he said.