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November 13, 2012
Quality Standard for ESG Research Launched
by Robert Kropp
The Association for Responsible Investment Services re-launches the Responsible Investment Research
Standard as ARISTA to increase awareness of the standard and to meet a growing demand for
comparability among sustainable investment research firms.
Ten leading sustainable investment research firms, all of which are members of the Association for
Responsible Investment Services (ARISE), have signed onto the re-launched ARISTA 3.0, a voluntary quality standard for the
industry. None of the current members are headquartered in the US, but at least two—EIRIS and oekom research—should be familiar to readers of
Formerly known as CSRR-QS, ARISTA sets out Eleven Commitments to which signatories agree to adhere. The commitments have been expanded
beyond the previous standard to increase the focus of research firms on corporate management of
environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors in the supply chain, among other
The new standard is designed to stimulate quality, integrity, and the
transparency within the field of sustainable investment research; encourage research groups to
embrace organizational structures that ensure their independence, objectivity, and professionalism;
stimulate sustainable investment research to adopt thorough quality management systems and foster
continuous improvement; and increase accountability through the implementation of audit, assurance,
and verifiability mechanisms.
"Responsible investment research and ESG ratings have become
an incontrovertible element of the responsible investment value chain," said François Passant of Eurosif, the European network of national
sustainable investment forums. "The launch of Arista 3.0 is therefore an essential initiative that
will further foster quality and transparency in the sector."
"There is a growing need for
calibrated templates reflecting the content and value of responsible investment products", said
Herwig Peeters, President of ARISE. "There is a clear demand for efficient check and audit systems
by regulatory frameworks on a national and international scale. ARISTA provides an invaluable
comparative instrument for professional users and guarantees the quality and integrity of
responsible investment ratings."
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