More than 100 global institutional investors and asset managers are committing to a project that seeks to standardize environmental, social and governance metrics to provide a mechanism for comparative reporting in the private equity industry.

The ESG Data Convergence Project, which was launched in September 2021, now includes commitments from the British Columbia Investment Management Corp., the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Investment Management Corp. of Ontario, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System and the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

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The collaboration now represents US$8.7 trillion in assets under management and more than 1,400 underlying portfolio companies. The group is working to streamline the industry’s historically fragmented approach to collecting and reporting ESG data, enabling greater transparency and more comparable portfolio information, according to a press release.

In spring 2022, the project’s inaugural data will be aggregated into a benchmark by the Boston Consulting Group. The initial data will cover six categories: greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, board diversity, work-related injuries, net new hires and employee engagement.

The press release noted the group will meet annually to review and assess the previous year’s data and to build upon and add to the initial metrics. As part of these efforts, the group is also working to expand more broadly in private markets to include asset classes such as private credit.

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