The international research project TranspArEEnS (Mainstreaming Transparent Assessment of Energy Efficiency in Environmental Social Governance Ratings), in which researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE are involved, is entering the data collection phase one year after its official start. For this purpose, a standardized qualitative-quantitative questionnaire for the information collection of energy efficiency (EE) and ESG performance (Environmental, Social, Governance), especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been designed since the beginning of the project. The analysis of the information collected from the questionnaire forms the basis for a standardized EE-ESG rating model for listed and unlisted SMEs. The introduction of such a rating model is the goal of the project.
“In the past twelve months, we have initiated a targeted process for the analysis of ESG factors, starting from the data of listed companies. The project's dissemination activities have attracted a lot of interest and the great work done by the team at the Leibniz Institute SAFE, coordinated by Loriana Pelizzon, has allowed us to prepare, alongside CRIF, an advanced reference module with significant added value for participants, which is now making its debut,” says TranspArEEnS coordinator and SAFE Fellow Monica Billio of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.
Data collection via a digital platform
CRIF is a service provider specializing in corporate information and data processing, which, alongside SAFE and Ca’ Foscari University, is a partner in the TranspArEEnS research consortium. Following the start-up and development phase of the project, CRIF is now entering the data collection process via a digital platform through which SMEs can conduct an ESG self-assessment. Further involved in TranspArEEnS is the European Mortgage Federation – European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC).
TranspArEEnS’ EE-ESG rating is being tested in pilot case studies and meetings with leading representatives of the financial industry and regulators. This will enable an understanding of barriers and opportunities for operationalizing the project. These include credit risk assessment, development of long-term EE financing via securitization (covered bonds, European Secured Notes), and introduction of EE ESG considerations into monetary policy and prudential regulation. In addition, TranspArEEnS should help to mitigate the risk of greenwashing and thus improve financial stability.