S-Ray aims machine learning and big data at the sustainability of big businesses

Arabesque's new S-Ray aims machine learning and big data at the sustainability of big businesses.

The new tool will “capture vast amounts of sustainability information that now exists on companies,” and make it relevant to investors, says Georg Kell, a vice chair at Arabesque.

The asset management firm’s S-Ray service, with free and paid versions, tracks data on over 4,000 corporations, combining 200 environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics with “news signals” from 50,000 sources in 15 languages.

Big data can shift “global markets towards greater environmental stewardship, better social impact, and increased respect for universal human rights,” says Kell, the founder and former head of the United Nations Global Compact.

Corporate transparency on sustainability is growing: More than 80 percent of companies in the S&P 500 report on human rights, greenhouse gas emissions, anti-corruption practices and other ESG indicators through the Global Reporting Initiative, up from 20 percent in 2011.

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