SDI AOP Innovation Outlook

The Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP) develops a dataset that assesses which companies are actively developing solutions needed to achieve the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).

SDI Innovation Outlook quantifies the alignment of companies’ patent portfolios with the UN SDGs. It builds on the SDI Classification dataset which assesses companies’ contributions to the SDGs based predominantly on revenues.

The dataset is a combination of scores on 130 technology themes. The SDI AOP taxonomy identified these themes in a mapping process conducted by its artificial intelligence (AI) partner Entis. SDI AOP partner Qontigo is distributing the service.

The dataset currently provides reports with detailed company profiles for nearly 2,200 firms.

James Leaton, research director, SDI AOP

James Leaton, research director of SDI AOP, explains how large-scale network analysis and proprietary statistical models evaluate patents.

“The analysis incorporates the quality of individual patents, accounts for historical trends and provides insights for specific themes,” he says.

Identifying SDG technologies across revenues and now patents, Leaton describes the deployment of AI in the framework as “essential to process the huge volumes of data.”

In this way, users can identify future value creation and test whether research and development activities match corporate commitments.

“This can feed into engagement strategies, peer comparison and portfolio construction,” adds Leaton.

Alongside the release of the SDI Innovation Outlook, the SDI Classification dataset is moving from a semi-annual to a quarterly release cycle. This includes a further extension to high-yield bond issuers.

The dataset includes negative SDG contribution information as of August of this year. This allows service revenues that are inconsistent with the goals to be identified.

Launched in 2020, the SDI AOP embeds the UN SDGs into investors’ investment processes. With SDG contributions integrated into portfolio management and reporting, target setting and progress monitoring can happen.

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