Issue 28 - November 2015

Newsletter Survey - Help us enhance the new Sustainalytics Reporter

Sustainalytics’ corporate newsletter, The Sustainalytics Reporter, will have a fresh new appearance beginning in 2016. To ensure we provide you with the most relevant, timely ESG and corporate governance information, we invite you to participate in the short survey linked below.

Please take a few minutes to share your views on what you’d like to see in the future Sustainalytics Reporter. We appreciate your feedback.


Behind Closed Doors: The political influence of the pharma industry
by Hazel Goedhart

Hazel Goedhart | Associate Research Analyst, PharmaceuticalsAmong all industries, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the biggest spenders on political lobbying. Lack of transparency on the focus of these lobbying activities can create risks for investors.

Read "Behind Closed Doors..."


Challenges on the Horizon
by Doug Morrow 

Doug Morrow, Associate Director, Thematic Research

In this article, which appeared in the debut issue of Responsible Investor’s ESG Magazine, Sustainalytics outlines some of the daunting challenges facing the insurance industry in the near future. Looking at companies through an ESG lens can help investors identify those companies that are best positioned to mitigate the risks and capitalise on the opportunities.

Read "Challenges on the Horizon..."

Product Spotlight

The Changing Market Landscape for Carbon Research

Increasingly, investors are looking more closely at how to measure the long-term investment risks associated with carbon emissions and climate change. Sustainalytics’ suite of Carbon Solutions supports investors’ wide-ranging needs around carbon, from capturing the carbon footprint of portfolios to pursuing carbon-related investment strategies.

In the short video to the left, Sustainalytics Global Director of Advisory Services, Simon MacMahon, discusses the market landscape for carbon research and data.

Visit our website to learn more about our Carbon Solutions Suite or contact us.

Valeant's Fall - Corporate Governance and Business Ethics in the Spotlight

Corporate Governance

Valeant was a stock market success story through mid-2015. However, its strategy of taking on debt and issuing stock to roll up smaller pharmaceutical manufacturers, cut R&D expenditures, and increase prices on products began to unravel in recent months. In October, a federal investigation into the company’s pricing and distribution practices was announced. Following the revelation that the company had acquired a specialty pharmacy, Philidor, to distribute its drugs, facilitate insurance payments and inhibit drug substitutions, the firm also faced accusations of accounting fraud and challenges from its major business partners. These events are compounded by a 70% collapse in Valeant’s share price. 

For our insights on Valeant’s corporate governance and ESG issues, read our recent post published on the Responsible Investment Association's blog.

For more information on our assessment of Valeant’s corporate governance performance or to obtain a copy of the full Corporate Governance report, please contact us. To learn more about our Corporate Governance research, please visit our website:

Sustainalytics' Perspective

Upcoming Webinar - Findings from the Corporate Accountability Index

Corporate Accountability Index ReportOn December 10, Sustainalytics and Ranking Digital Rights will host a webinar to present the findings from the first annual "Corporate Accountability Index." 

In this interview-style webinar, Ranking Digital Rights’ Rebecca MacKinnon will share insight on the findings of the Index and Sustainalytics’ Matthew Barg will discuss the methodology and company engagement efforts.

To register for the webinar, click here.

Dead end for anti-competitive tax deals?

In our recent report, Dead end for anti-competitive tax deals? we examined the ESG implications for investors given the European Commission's decision to order Luxembourg and the Netherlands to recover unpaid corporate taxes. The report also offers insight on why the European Commission’s decision will have a positive impact from a universal owner perspective. To download the full report, please visit our Insights page

Sector Report and Webinar - Real Estate

Sector Report - Real Estate: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

In October, Sustainalytics released “Real Estate: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back,” a new sector report evaluating the trends impacting the sector and the investment risks and opportunities for 286 public and private real estate companies.

We also hosted a webinar to present the finding from the report. To learn more about this sector report or to access a replay of the webinar, visit our website at

In case you missed it...

In September, we also released the sector report “Steel: Forging Sustainability and Competitiveness.” With the industry struggling with overcapacity and volatility in the price of raw materials, Sustainalytics assessed the ESG risks and opportunities facing 84 public and private companies. To download the executive summary of this report, please visit our Insights page

STOXX and Sustainalytics Publish Report on Germany's ESG Leaders

Released on October 6, “Global Leaders – Nachhaltigkeit im Dax” evaluates companies that are part of the German blue-chip index DAX from a sustainability perspective, and ranks them according to their overall sustainability profile on a global level and within Germany. The results placed Munich Re at the top with the best overall rating and the company was presented with the “STOXX/Sustainalytics German ESG Award 2015”. Munich Re was praised for the way it fully incorporated sustainability and ESG criteria into its core business areas, from primary and reinsurance to its investment arm.

To learn more, read our full press release. To download the report, please visit our Insights page.

Incident and Controversy Assessments

Incident and Controversy Assessments

This month, Sustainalytics’ Incidents Team examined the accounting fraud allegations brought against Daewoo Shipping and Marine Engineering and the new probe into Volkswagen over its alleged under-reporting of fatalities and injuries related to vehicle defects. 

Read “Incidents and controversy assessment..."


Analysts' Insights

Product Spotlight

Sustainalytics' Perspective


Sustainalytics in the Media

Research at Work


1 December | London
Corporate Governance PensionsConnection Meeting

8 December | New York
RI Americas

10 December | Webinar
Sustainalytics & Ranking Digital Rights Present the Findings from the Corporate Accountability Index

Visit our website for a full listing of events


Should companies be forced to disclose carbon emissions - Toronto Star

World's biggest tech companies get failing grade on data-privacy rights - The Guardian

ROI Meets ESG - Listed Magazine

Amazon's Jeff Bezos plummets down corporate leader rankings - Financial Times


ESG Rankings Continue to Gain Traction Globally 

Channel NewsAsia Sustainability Ranking: 
For the second year in a row, Sustainalytics created this ranking of the top performing Asian companies with respect to sustainability across 11 economies. Launched during the CSR Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, the ranking saw India’s Wipro come out on top thanks to its strong corporate governance and ESG practices. To learn more, read the full press release or visit our website at:

Harvard Business Review Best Performing CEOs 2015: In this year’s ranking of the world’s top performing CEOs, HBR also looked at companies’ ESG performance – provided by Sustainalytics and accounting for 20% of the overall score – in determining the final list. Taking ESG scores into consideration resulted in last year’s top CEO, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, falling to 87th position, leaving room for NovoNordisk’s Lars Rebien Sørensen to emerge in the top spot. To see the full ranking results, visit the Harvard Business Review website.

Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index: The Index provides assessments of the world’s most powerful Internet and telecommunications companies’ commitments, policies and practices that affect users’ freedom of expression and privacy. Using a methodology co-developed by Sustainalytics and Ranking Digital Rights, we evaluated a representative group of 16 companies on 31 indicators across three categories. The research revealed a deep need for improvement on all fronts. To learn more visit our website at:


Sustainalytics | Your responsible investment partner

Sustainalytics supports investors around the world with the development and implementation of responsible investment strategies. The firm partners with institutional investors, pension plans, and asset managers that integrate environmental, social and governance information and assessments into their investment decisions.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, Sustainalytics has offices in Boston, Bucharest, Frankfurt, London, New York, Paris, Singapore, Timisoara and Toronto, and representatives in Bogotá, Brussels and Washington, D.C. The firm has over 200 staff members, including more than 120 analysts with varied multidisciplinary expertise and thorough understanding of more than 40 industries.