SRI research needs standardisation, EU told

EUROPE – It is the quality of socially responsible investments (SRI) research that needs to be standardised, not the methodology, according to Claudia Kruse, corporate responsibility analyst at SRI specialist firm, Global Risk Management Services (GRMS).

Speaking at a recent EU conference on corporate social responsibility, Kruse says that there is enough variety of SRI products that it is easy for research companies to take a diverse and flexible approach to SRI.

Furthermore, she adds that until a definition of ‘sustainability’ has been universally established, it remains impossible to judge what constitutes a sustainable company.

Says Kruse: “It worries us that a number of SRI research organisations rely too heavily on mailing questionnaires to the companies being investigated, taking the response at face value without direct engagement to verify the answers. Also, the reality of a company is too complex to be captured by questionnaires and requires more in-depth research to produce the full picture.”

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