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Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) were launched as the first global sustainability benchmarks by investment specialist RobecoSAM together with S&P Dow Jones Indices. Based on its Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual analysis of 2,500 listed companies, DJSI is one of the world’s most comprehensive databases of financially material sustainability information. The PURE Platform from UL EHS Sustainability has been helping companies manage their data in-line with DJSI for more than a decade, in addition to other leading frameworks such as GRI and CDP.
Due to the increasing number of sustainability frameworks many companies are looking for a technical solution that will help to reduce their reporting burden. It is essential to collect sustainability information in a coherent manner as well as using digital reporting to improve the reusability, comparability and overall quality of sustainability information.
Companies are now looking for software providers to integrate the CSA questionnaire into their corporate reporting systems and processes as well as for a consistent approach to transmitting sustainability information digitally to external reporting platforms. The reporting process should involve a minimum of manual effort, improve data quality, and maximize the reusability of the reported data between frameworks.
UL EHS Sustainability worked with RobecoSAM to develop and pilot a software API (application programming interface) to allow reporting companies to transfer the required data from their sustainability information management platform into the RobecoSAM CSA. To structure the data and questionnaire, RobecoSAM used XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), the open international standard for digital business reporting. XBRL-based information transfer leverages software tools to remove complexity from the reporting process.
UL EHS Sustainability is one of the two initial software providers that include RobecoSAM’s new DJSI (Dow Jones Sustainability Indices) XBRL framework, allowing information to be automatically tagged and transferred with minimal effort required by the reporting company.
The solution allows the RobecoSAM CSA to be generated instantly in the PURE Platform, and for the automated transfer of company information from the PURE Platform to the DJSI reporting platform. Structuring data in XBRL format standardizes it, reducing loss of quality when it is shared, making it more accessible to consumers of the data and potentially offering synergies between different reporting standards.
The new technical interface alleviates some of the reporting burden in the short-term, while the new underlying DJSI XBRL structure will help UL clients to address longer-term reporting demands.
UL EHS Sustainability automatically built the DJSI 2015 framework using the XBRL structure, successfully developed by RobecoSAM. Frameworks were generated and available to a reporting company in a matter of minutes.
The framework was very closely aligned to RobecoSAM, making reporting in the PURE Platform a straight-forward switch from RobecoSAM. Once a company had prepared their response, data and supporting documents were automatically and instantly transferred from UL to RobecoSAM. UL clients such as American telecommunications giant Sprint and leading French banking group Crédit Agricole benefited from the suite of tools available in Framework Manager and submitted their responses on time.
UL EHS Sustainability offered advice and support throughout the full reporting process. A check service was provided on the final submission for each company, helping to identify any possible mistakes or questions overlooked.
Standardized data allows UL to make more out of your data – for example, prefilling the DJSI 2016 framework automatically based on your 2015 response. The standardization in XBRL offers synergies between different reporting standards, such as DJSI and GRI.
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