Trucost Blog / 22 Jun 2012

Rate the Raters: Improving Trucost’s research process

Here we explain how we have further developed Trucost’s research process to improve transparency and meet the evolving needs of Trucost’s stakeholders.

In May 2010, SustainAbility launched a multi-phase research program ‘Rate the Raters’ to shed light on the universe of corporate sustainability ratings.

In February 2011, SustainAbility highlighted Trucost good practice in the areas of input verification, experience and capacity of research team, basis for rating, and validation of results. Here we explain how we have further developed Trucost’s research process to improve transparency and meet the evolving needs of Trucost’s stakeholders.

Understanding our stakeholder needs

We launched an annual survey in October to identify opportunities to improve our research process. We have also incorporated a live feedback loop within our research process to ensure any queries can be instantly resolved.

Improving our verification process

We were previously highlighted as best practice in the area of research verification by Rate the Raters in recognition of our inclusion of company feedback in our standard research process. To further improve the transparency of our research process, we have launched an online portal to enable multiple company representatives to provide additional data and/or comments when verifying or improving our research.

Broadening our research

Following the publication of the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Guidelines, Trucost has broadened its data entry scope to collect environmental performance data across company value chains (where available), including financed emissions by the investment community.

Increasing the capacity of our research team

We have strengthened our expertise across key industry sectors and geographies to support areas of increasing company disclosure. Trucost will always enter into direct communication with a researched company if the data supplied deviates from our expectations; this provides an extra level of confidence for companies and data users alike. We also provide ‘free’ analyst support to companies who need help with disclosing accurate data.