In response to growing demand for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, data and indexing provider MSCI has made its ESG ratings for over 2,800 companies publicly available.

The move enables investors, companies and industry stakeholders to identify relevant ESG risks and opportunities through improved transparency and access to ESG data and insights.

Roughly 2,800 constituents within the MSCI ACWI index have their ESG scores accessible via a search tool available on MSCI’s platform. The data provider plans to offer the ESG ratings for all 7,500 companies within the MSCI ACWI index in 2020.

MSCI's ESG research rates companies on a AAA to CCC scale according to their exposure to ESG risks and how well they manage said risks relative to peers. It incorporates 1,000 data points using the assistance of artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as its 200-strong team to monitor and update companies on an ongoing basis.

Users can view each company’s ESG rating, ESG rating history, benchmark against peers and key ESG related issues affecting individual companies.

Index providers across the industry are developing their ESG data offering with the likes of S&P Global having recently acquired RobecoSAM's ESG rating business to improve its sustainable solutions.

Remy Briand, head of ESG at MSCI, said: “ESG is increasingly being viewed by global investors as a critical factor for building better portfolios.

“The decision to make the MSCI ESG ratings publicly available is part of a campaign to drive greater transparency in ESG and follows the launch of the MSCI ESG Fund Ratings in July.

“We want to encourage open discussion among investors and companies on how to improve sustainability across the board and hope that making the MSCI ESG Ratings available to all will facilitate these discussions.”