“Vera”, Creditinfo’s ESG platform, now available for customers in Iceland

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are increasingly becoming a key consideration for investors, stakeholders, and companies. These factors help measure the sustainability and societal impact of a business, and ESG data is crucial for decision-making in the investment and corporate world. However, the availability, quality, and accessibility of ESG data have been major challenges, making it difficult to obtain accurate and reliable insights. This is increasingly becoming a problem for small and medium sized businesses that do not have the resources available to access and produce accurate and reliable ESG data.  

To address this growing need for ESG data services Creditinfo Iceland recently launched Vera, a new ESG data platform, for customers in Iceland. With Vera companies can access data about their customers and/or suppliers in an accessible way. The platform contains diverse sustainability information for all active companies in Iceland including  data directly reported by companies as well as external sources such as media coverage, judicial information, and supply chain operations. Companies can easily update their own sustainability information through MyCreditinfo to ensure an accurate portrayal of information such as emissions, ESG ratings, and other relevant data.  

What are the features Vera has to offer? 


 

  • Who can update sustainability information? 

One of Vera characteristics is that much the data can be updated to increase accuracy. If a company has a dedicated in-house sustainability officer, this person can be given access to Vera to update its info. This is done through MyCreditinfo where anyone inside the company with edit access can forward the access to a relevant employee. The sustainability officer can then provide the needed input.  

  • Contact person 

Sometimes it is difficult to reach the relevant person within companies regarding sustainability. ​This can happen during supplier assessments or during other processes where sustainability data is needed. It can also be time consuming to figure out who is responsible for this subject within companies. Vera helps with this process by offering companies to clarify who is the responsible person for sustainability related matters.​ This makes all communications easier and data flow quicker. 

  • Greenhouse gas emissions 

Most companies are accountable for greenhouse gas emissions, either directly or indirectly. Some companies know how much is emitted and where. Vera can estimate the greenhouse gas emissions from company operations if she knows the industry companies operate in and their revenue. This data must be in place in order for Vera to run its calculations.​ If companies know however their emissions, they can update their profile to provide better information to the market. 

  • Emission intensity 

Absolute greenhouse gas emissions tell a certain story regarding company operations.​ However, companies can emit the same amount of greenhouse gases while their size may differ. So understanding how much is emitted per revenue provides a better understanding of the sector. Emission intensity of the sector is therefore also a very relevant metric.​ Vera provides its users with an overview of the carbon intensity of the sector companies operate in. Sector emission intensity can initiate an interesting conversation between a lender/investor and the company where the company may want to demonstrate a better performance than the sector as a whole.​ Vera provides the sector carbon intensity on a scale which is easy to read and understand. 

  • Sustainability risks and opportunities 

Sustainability risks vary between sectors. Material sustainability factors are those who may have financial implications on companies if mismanaged. Sustainability accounting standards board (SASB) which is now a part of the IFRS has defined which sustainability factors are material within sectors and why.​ Such an overview is important for companies in order to manage material factors instead of using resources to provide data on non-material factors.   

Vera uses data from SASB to provide its users with an overview of material factors for individual companies and if the factors are considered climate risks. If a sustainability risk is classified as climate risk, Vera indicates the type of climate risk. This can be physical or transitional.​ Physical risks appear for example through extreme weather, ocean acidification etc. Transition risks appear through policy and legal risks. Vera provides an understanding regarding which sustainability risks companies are exposed to in a convenient manner.  

  • Sustainability in the value chain 

Using public data it is possible to map out the international supply chain of sectors. Vera provides such overview but is clear regarding the pitfalls of the data as the sector does not represent individual companies. Companies can therefore update their supply chain data. By updating the data in Vera, companies gain a deeper insight into various sustainability related matter in their value chain.  

Users of Vera can click on the value chain countries and redirect to the UN SDG website where even more detailed data is provided.​ In this way, the users of Vera and the reporting companies get a much better overview of the possible risk factors in the supply chain.​ 

  • Sustainability media information 

Creditinfo maintains a media monitoring service in many of its markets​. Using the data from Creditinfo, it is possible to monitor ESG related news articles involving individual companies.​ The ESG media monitor only monitors ESG related articles. Vera therefore utilizes the media quite effectively as a watchdog.​ Vera also provides ESG related media coverage regarding companies within the same sector. ​ 

  • Sustainability media information in the supply chain 

Vera understands which countries the sector mostly does business with.​ Using this data, Vera can monitor ESG related matters in the countries the company mostly does business with.​ If a company provides better data regarding its value chain, they have the possibility to understand better on a macro level the operating conditions in those countries. ​Such data can be used for decision making and supplier assessments.​ 

  • Sustainability documents 

Companies often publish reports and documents related to sustainability. This data is often dispersed around their website and is time consuming to maintain in a single place. Companies may also have various certifications in place which they may want to put forward.​ Such reports can be uploaded to Vera, which makes their access easier.​ If a company does not upload its reports to Vera, Creditinfo staff manually gathers the data and uploads to Vera. 

  • Court cases 

Vera provides an overview of court cases the company appears in for all court levels. It is possible to see the case abstract only or navigate to the official court document online. Vera also shows court cases for parent companies and subsidiaries. The ratio of ownership has to be 10% or more in both directions for Vera to show the cases. Vera therefore provides a better insight into related cases than the courts themselves.  

  • Diversity information 

Diversity in management and staff is an important component of successful companies. Studies have shown that gender diversity in staff has a positive impact on companies. Vera offers information about gender ratios for employees, board members and executives for a company. This information can be updated via MyCreditinfo.  

 For more information visit www.creditinfo.com

 

Creditinfo launches ESG Data Platform

Reykjavík / London, 20th October 2022 – Creditinfo Group, the leading global service provider for credit information and risk management solutions, has today announced the launch of VERA, a new environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) data platform. The pioneering platform will provide financial services with a standardised overview of their ESG performance, helping them comply with ESG regulation, and will also create a way for other organisations to easily provide sustainability data to the financial sector.

VERA is a centralised platform that congregates information from a range of sources, including data directly reported by companies as well as external sources such as media coverage, judicial information, and supply chain operations. The information is then automatically standardised to allow organisations across financial services to obtain a holistic overview of ESG factors and performance, and easily establish how best to comply with regulation.

Initially being rolled out in Iceland, with other regions to follow globally, the platform can also be used by non-financial corporations when conducting supplier assessments to determine the ESG performance of their supply chains, and to provide sustainability data in a standardised way to the financial sector, helping to attract investment.

Reynir Smári Atlason, Director of sustainability at Creditinfo said: “Providing ESG information to financial services strengthens the presence and engagement of financial institutions – especially in markets where sustainability data is generally limited. It’s not only an ethical decision but a practical one – various markets don’t have the regulations in place to hold companies to account, yet ESG data is needed if they’re going to attract investment through sustainable financing. We’re really proud of how this platform levels the playing field and makes this information accessible and digestible.”

The VERA platform comes on the heels of Creditinfo’s own sustainability policy as the next step in its overall ESG strategy. Creditinfo’s aim to facilitate better decision making in financial services and enable greater access to finance for underserved SMEs, companies and individuals without credit ratings means it plays a vital role in social sustainability globally, and transparency in its environmental and social dealings across its regions must be a fundamental part of this.The next step will see the company publish its inaugural sustainability report evaluating performance areas against its sustainability policy in 2023.

Paul Randall, CEO at Creditinfo said: “Our ESG data platform and sustainability policy are just the first steps in understanding and addressing our wider external impact and helping others to do the same. Not only do we need to make sure we comply with regulation in this area, but the responsibility also lies with individual companies to be proactive when it comes to innovating in a sustainable and responsible way. We’re ready to lead by example here and I’m very excited by our ESG data platform and sustainability policy to ensure Creditinfo and other financial services are on track and compliant with regulation.”

Creditinfo’s sustainability policy can be found in full here.

ENDS

About Creditinfo

Established in 1997 and headquartered in London, UK, Creditinfo is a provider of credit information and risk management solutions worldwide. As one of the fastest-growing companies in its field, Creditinfo facilitates access to finance, through intelligent information, software and decision analytics solutions. With more than 30 credit bureaus running today, Creditinfo has the most considerable global presence in this field of credit risk management, with a significantly greater footprint than competitors. For decades it has provided business information, risk management and credit bureau solutions to some of the largest, lenders, governments and central banks globally to increase financial inclusion and generate economic growth by allowing credit access for SMEs and individuals. For more information, please visit www.creditinfo.com