Source: London Stock Exchange
Leading European investment research agencies Vigeo and EthiFinance will, from this week, become the first non UK-based research agencies to use the London Stock Exchange's Corporate Responsibility Exchange (CRE), the online disclosure tool for non-financial company information launched in October 2004.
The Exchange also announced today that nine international companies have signed up to use the CRE.
Vigeo is an independent corporate social responsibility rating agency, providing investor-solicited ratings as well as corporate-solicited audits. Vigeo's investor-solicited ratings inform the ASPI Eurozone® (Advanced Sustainable Performance Indices) family of indices. EthiFinance provides independent research on socially responsible investment to a wide range of institutional investors and other clients including the SiRi Company. Its survey will be available on the CRE from 30 June.
There are now 125 companies using the CRE, including half of the UK's FTSE100. International companies using the CRE include ABN AMRO from the Netherlands and Enel from Italy.
Fred Stone, Head of IR Solutions at the London Stock Exchange, said: "We are delighted that two leading European research agencies, Vigeo and EthiFinance, as well as nine international companies will soon be using the CRE.
"With studies showing that 84 per cent of the most important measures influencing investors' valuations of a company are non-financial(1), we believe that the CRE has an important role to play in supporting companies’ buy-side communications."
Emmanuel De La Ville from EthiFinance said: "CRE will help EthiFinance to further its mission of delivering relevant non-financial information to investors. Our regular dialogue with corporates in France tells us that they are experiencing growing 'survey fatigue' and using the CRE will help us to ease that burden. Secondly, access to the CRE will enable our team to spend less time finding basic data and more time on added-value information and research on the link between financial and non-financial performance. This is all good news for the whole CSR community."
Fouad Benseddik, Head of Research and Insitutional Relations at Vigeo, said: "We support this initiative as a positive contribution to improving reporting by companies. I hope it will bring the European and international SRI operators closer together."
The London Stock Exchange's CRE is an online tool that acts as a platform for companies to publish non-financial information, and for fund managers and research agencies to access it. Existing participating research agencies are BiTC, which compiles the Corporate Responsibility index and EIRiS, which provides the data for the FTSE4Good index.
 (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2005 – "Good Practices in Corporate Reporting")