The European Commission has launched tenders for studies on sustainability-related products and services and on the integration of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) risks by EU banks.

The studies were provided for in the Commission’s sustainable finance action plan from March last year. Implementation of that has so far mainly focused on the legislation that the Commission proposed and the related work of the technical expert group.

According to the tender documentation, the study on “sustainability ratings and research” is supposed to:

  • Describe the state of play of the sustainability-related products and services market;
  • Establish an inventory and classification of actors and sustainability products and services available on the market;
  • Explore the use and quality of sustainability-related products and services; and
  • Provide the Commission with recommendations and best practices to stimulate demand and improve the quality of supply.

Sustainability-related products and services included ratings, scores, scenario analysis, raw data, ESG benchmarks, and second opinions on green bonds, and were offered by a number of specialist and traditional providers, according to the Commission.

One of the aims of the study, it said, was to “design a coherent legal and economic classification” of the products and their providers.

The general objective of the other study was to “explore the integration of ESG risk considerations into the EU banking prudential framework and into banks’ business strategies and investment policies”.

The findings would feed into the work to implement the Commission’s sustainable finance action plan and could be taken into account by the European Banking Authority.

The EBA has been tasked to assess the potential inclusion of ESG risks in the reviews and evaluations carried out by supervisors. It is supposed to deliver a report on its findings to the Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Council by 28 June 2021.