Due to the shakeout in the SRI agency market, it is difficult to give a single, clear answer to this question.  We are currently forced to give three answers but we will upgrade these as the SRI agency market settles into a more organised shape.

Answer 1: None of them

Companies should treat SRI agencies in exactly the same way as they treat other investment research organisations.  They should:

  • publish a sustainability report
  • webcast a presentation
  • leave plenty of time for questions at the end of the webcast
  • answer individual well-targeted questions
  • ...but answer no questionnaires!

Whenever a company receives an information request from an SRI agency, the company should look up that agency’s profile on SRI-CONNECT and find out who their asset manager / asset owner clients are:

  • If the agency has three or more of your Top 20 or target investors on their client list, answer the questionnaire
  • If the agency doesn’t list any of your key investors, put it in the bin
3) The big six

The research agency market has been through such a shake-up recently that it’s impossible to choose based on quality – so just adopt an 80/20 rule and target the big six agencies:

Unfortunately this means that you will miss out on a lot of high-quality and insightful analysis from Inrate, Oekom, Responsible Research, SI2, SIRIS etc. – see full list of SRI agencies here.  But that’s just the way the cookie crumbles in a time-poor world…