Conrad Grebel University College
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Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
“If you don’t have anything to compare your data with, you don’t know where you are standing at,” reflects ESGTree Customer Success and R&D Lead, Pedro Alguindigue. After wrapping up its first year of business in April, incubator participant ESGTree shared that client feedback prompted the platform to grow in new and exciting ways. Rather than stopping at creating an outstanding reporting platform, ESGTree is expanding its services to help users address the question “Now what?”
April 20th, 2021 marked the end of Grebel Peace Incubator participant, ESGTree’s first year in business. As an emerging leader in the field of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis, ESGTree already stands out in the market for its proactive approach to reporting and for listening closely to the needs of its users.
So much has happened for this organization since it joined the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement in September 2020 as one of three new incubator ventures. CEO and Co-Founder Majid Mirza has welcomed eight staff members to the team to support the growing number of clients leveraging ESGTree’s data management platform within their organizations. Among them is a major, U.S. based private equity firm with over 30 companies in their portfolio.
Unlike other ESG solutions which are built for public markets or individual corporations, ESGTree caters to investors and private corporations of all sizes. Clients have been benefitting from the program’s reporting and trend analysis function for over a year now because their individualized portfolios give them a thorough picture of how their organizations live out ESG goals.
“When we launched ESGTree in April 2020, the base of the platform for data gathering, analyzing, and reporting was working great,” reflected ESGTree Customer Success and R&D Lead, Pedro Alguindique. “Then we got into contact with clients who used the reports for investors, and the same questions kept being raised: Now what? How can we improve?”
The solution arrived in April 2021, when ESGTree launched the Benchmark Analysis Tool (BAT). Thanks to support from the Peace Incubator Fund, ESGTree now has the capacity to respond to client questions with clear points of action and by referencing the work of other organizations.
The BAT combines anonymized information from ESGTree’s own clients with a live ESG dataset of over 10,000 companies. This new tool allows users to compare their company’s performance with that of competitors across more than 80 different ESG performance indicators, helping them to understand what the information in their quarterly reports really means. Plus, the Benchmark Analysis Tool is likely “the first advanced ESG benchmarking system built specifically with private equity firms in mind.”
We give [clients] the tools to know where the feedback is coming from. This is one of the best benchmarking tools on the market right now
“In a time where ESG reporting and disclosure is evolving, it is as important for us to provide advisory, training and knowledge services to our current and potential clients as it is to provide a software solution,” reflects Mirza.
The new Benchmark Analysis Tool enables users to draw clear conclusions from the data in front of them, informing which steps to take next. This is also reflected in ESGTree's upcoming Impact Measurement and Management (IMM) tool which uses its own country-level benchmarking system and helps users on their journey towards UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) excellence.
Looking ahead, ESGTree plans to offer automatic feedback, insights and recommendations based on the performance of specific indicators. Keep an eye out as well for helpful handouts and guides in their content library, which will include information about ESGs, sustainability, accurate reporting, and more. This startup is already clearing its own path in the ESG reporting sector, and soon, more users with all levels of reporting experience will be able to use it to create meaningful change within their organizations.