What is ESG Benchmarking?

ESG benchmarking is the process of a corporation measuring its ESG performance and disclosure against its peers within the same industry. Business leaders need to have a clear understanding of company and industry-wide ESG issues, as well as how to address them, in order to answer to stakeholders, maintain their company’s reputation, and stay on the competitive edge. 

Having a deep understanding on how their company’s ESG performance stacks up against their competitors’ is crucial in unlocking areas of opportunity and to be prepared for tough questions from stakeholders. Key ESG issues such as commitment to the renewable energy transition and lowering carbon emissions, human capital and business ethics, and fair governance are top of mind for most stakeholders and consumers, which means they need to be top of mind for corporations as well.

ESG Benchmarking Challenges (and Solutions)

More and more corporations are recognizing the value of ESG benchmarking, and yet most are encountering similar obstacles in the process. Below are a few common challenges business leaders face when benchmarking, particularly when they do not have an all-in-one market intelligence platform with artificial intelligence (AI) based search functionality .

Fragmented Data Sources

There is currently no standardization of ESG reporting, meaning there is no central database that houses all relevant information for ESG benchmarking. This forces professionals into a reactive process of pulling together disparate data (often behind paywalls and content gates) and incoherently stitching together narratives all on their own. This approach inevitably leads to missed insights and the inability to reliably validate any potentially relevant findings. 

However, when you utilize a platform with aggregated content access—everything from earnings transcripts and ESG reports to company presentations, broker research, and expert calls—you can see the full landscape of available ESG data all at once. From there you can easily validate insights using different sources and increase confidence in your research. 

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Lack of Productivity and Too Much Time Wasted

The problem with manual research—the kind that does not rely on the power of AI and NLP—is that you end up severely limiting the speed and scope of your research. 

Manually parsing through pages and pages of a document just to potentially find a needle in the haystack, all to then repeat the same process for every new source is inefficient, exhausting, and woefully subject to human error. Moreover, spending too much time on search efforts alone leaves little time for the high-value tasks of analysis and strategy building. 

AI search capabilities—thematic search, synonym recognition, company tearsheets, and more—help you find all the information you are seeking faster and surface insights you may not have even known to look for. These capabilities are key in maintaining a productive research workflow. These tools give you your time back, so that you can do more with less. 

Outdated Information Sources

The ESG landscape is constantly shifting. Most legacy platforms do not reflect the current state of ESG because they lack sufficient information on emerging ESG trends. Particularly for the energy sector and the energy transition, it’s imperative to rely on data sources that are up to date and accurately portray the current state of ESG.

With a market intelligence platform that constantly updates its data sources with the most current documents and reports, you never have to worry about antiquated insights or falling behind the competition again. 

AlphaSense for ESG Benchmarking

AlphaSense allows professionals to easily benchmark ESG goals and evaluate peer strategies by aggregating access to critical ESG information sources—indexed, searchable, and all in one place. Here’s how:

One Platform for All ESG Research

By offering aggregated access to all four key perspectives of market research, AlphaSense enables you to understand your peers’ goals and their strategies for meeting those goals, so that you can adapt your own ESG strategies accordingly. 

Here is how each of the four perspectives play into ESG research:

  • Company – Go straight to the source to see how companies are reporting on their ESG initiatives; gain access to disclosures and presentations covering 26,000+ companies
  • Analyst – Hear from top Wall Street firms (including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and more) about ESG investments, outlooks, and company evaluations
  • Journalist/Regulatory – Proactively monitor regulatory and reporting groups such as GRI, as well as 145+ top ESG-focused news and trade journals
  • Expert – Get access to 40,000+ first-hand perspectives of past executives, partners, and customers on ESG strategy, the cost of sustainability, and ESG market leaders

You can also create customizable dashboards on the AlphaSense platform to help you proactively monitor the companies, industries, or trends that are most important to you. These dashboards automatically populate with new content on selected search topics to ensure you are always in the know.

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Speed Up Time to Insight

AlphaSense incorporates powerful AI search technology, eliminating manual research tasks and enabling you to craft ESG goals and strategies faster. Our smart search capabilities give you back more time for high-level analysis and strategy in the following ways:

  • Thematic Search – accelerates your research process 5-10x, enabling you to find new technologies or target acquisitions
  • Real-Time Alerts – ensure you never miss a critical peer, industry, or market update again
  • Smart Synonyms™ – enable you to filter through the noise faster by understanding the core of your search intent and surfacing only the most relevant results (e.g. when you search “emission reduction” the platform will also surface results for “Scope 1”, “greenhouse gas emissions”, “customers’ emissions”, etc.)

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Exclusive Insights You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

AlphaSense bypasses standard paywalls, giving you instant access to all the proprietary and premium content you need to effectively conduct your ESG research. With these exclusive sources, you can validate your findings and back your ESG strategy with Wall Street and industry expert perspectives:

  • Wall Street Insights® – the only collection of broker research available to the corporate market with access to perspectives from 1,000+ sell-side and independent firms
  • Expert Insights – provides instant access to 35,000+ interviews with thought leaders, former executives, partners, customers, and other experts