Corporate members of ORSE wanted to challenge rating agencies and fund managers in order to encourage them to be more coherent and consistent in relation to the criteria and methods that they use to measure the social and environmental performance of companies.
ORSE has developed a Charter of Reciprocal Commitments for Sustainability Analysis Organisations and Companies, which aims to improve and clarify the relationship between companies and rating agencies. It consists of a voluntary bilateral agreement between companies and analysis organisations concerning the organisation of their interaction. The development of the charter was the result of a consultation process with companies, trade unions and European extra-financial research and analysis organisations. The main issues of the Charter concern: governance, questionnaire-fit (i.e. relevance of questions for subsidiaries and by sector/activity), transparency on methodology of research and information flow, and stakeholder consultation.
- European outreach: Although both companies and analysis organisations welcomed the initiative, there has not been any uptake yet at European level, due to a lack of means.
- The consultation period that preceded the development of the charter contributed to a raising of awareness on difficulties and opportunities by both companies and agencies.
- Improved dialogue between companies and analysis organisations.
- The input from various stakeholders was gathered for the development of the Charter (corporate, trade unions, sustainability analysis organisations) through interviews, round table discussions and direct contributions by mail.
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