April 26, 2022
AMSTERDAM – The Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP) and Qontigo, its exclusive distribution partner, have announced that leading asset manager BlackRock has subscribed to the SDI AOP dataset. The information package analyzes corporate alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). BlackRock will use the data to advise clients on ESG portfolio construction, research, reporting, product creation and evolution.
“While Europe has historically taken the lead investing in alignment with the SDGs, we are seeing increased interest from the Americas in the dataset,” said Jennifer Coulson, senior managing director of ESG, public markets at British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI). “As a founding member of the SDI AOP, we are delighted to welcome such an important global asset manager as a subscriber.”
The SDI AOP dataset is backed by some of the world’s largest asset owners. In 2020, APG, AustralianSuper, BCI and PGGM came together to form the SDI AOP Design Authority, with the aim of creating a standard for investing in the UN’s SDGs. They define the taxonomy and methodology that is translated and applied, using artificial and human intelligence from technology partner Entis. Analytics and index provider Qontigo acts as the SDI AOP’s sales and marketing arm.
“As investors look to align their portfolios with their sustainable objectives, they are becoming increasingly focused on defining these objectives with specificity, including SDGs,” said Carolyn Weinberg, managing director & global head of product, ETF and index investments at BlackRock. “The implementation of SDG-aligned investment strategies requires quality data with specific analytical methodologies. We are pleased to strengthen our sustainable product and client offerings with the SDI AOP dataset.”
In 2021, BlackRock was named manager to two SDI-related institutional developed-market equities mandates tracking STOXX indices provided by Qontigo. APG launched a €1 billion mandate tracking the iSTOXX® APG World Responsible Low-Carbon SDI Index in September and Dutch pension fund Philips Pensioenfonds introduced the iSTOXX® PPF Responsible SDG Index in December for a €4.5 billion mandate. Both of these indices incorporate multiple ESG inputs, including SDG alignment according to the SDI AOP taxonomy.
“SDG alignment is clearly top of mind for our clients—including BlackRock—and it’s a trend we’re seeing across the board, from portfolio and index construction to stakeholder reporting,” said Sebastian Ceria, chief executive officer of Qontigo. “We are delighted to have played a role in bringing BlackRock and the SDI AOP together in support of the accelerating global shift to more sustainable investing.”
Currently, the SDI AOP dataset covers over 8,700 companies. Updates occur twice a year, with the next scheduled for August 2022.
About SDI Asset Owner Platform
The Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP) is responsible for the development and maintenance of the SDI taxonomy and guidance, SDI definitions and SDI classification methodology (www.sdi-aop.org). The SDI AOP consists of asset owners who invest in solutions which contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SDI AOP uses revenues associated with a company’s products and services as starting points to classify which companies qualify as SDI.
The SDI AOP is comprised of APG, AustralianSuper, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) and PGGM. Its underlying data are available to the market through analytics and index provider Qontigo and can be integrated into any investment process.
BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable. For additional information on BlackRock, please visit www.blackrock.com/corporate
About Qontigo — Optimizing Impact™
Qontigo is a leading global provider of innovative index, analytics and risk solutions that optimize investment impact. As the shift toward sustainable investing accelerates, Qontigo enables its clients—financial-products issuers, asset owners and asset managers—to deliver sophisticated and targeted solutions at scale to meet the increasingly demanding and unique sustainability goals of investors worldwide.
Qontigo’s solutions are enhanced by both our collaborative, customer-centric culture, which allows us to create tailored solutions for our clients, and our open architecture and modern technology that efficiently integrate with our clients’ processes.
Part of the Deutsche Börse Group, Qontigo was created in 2019 through the combination of Axioma, DAX and STOXX. Headquartered in Eschborn, Germany, Qontigo’s global presence includes offices in New York, London, Zug and Hong Kong.
Molly McGregor – Qontigo & SDI AOP
Anthony Arthur – BlackRock
+44 (0) 207 743 5871 or firstname.lastname@example.org