ATNF led the research process and collaborated with Sustainalytics, a leading provider of sustainability research & analysis, to gather company information, calculate the scores and rankings, and draft company scorecards for the Global Index 2018.
The ATNI research process involved the following steps:
- Identification and review of relevant publicly available documents: The research process began with desk-based research for the Global Index. Analysts pre-populated the data-gathering platform with all information available in the public domain relevant to the Global Index methodology in order to reduce the burden for the companies. The documents reviewed included annual reports, corporate social responsibility/sustainability reports, websites, press releases and any publicly available policy statements. All documents publicly available before the end of the company research phase were analyzed.
- Companies´ contribution to the platform: Once the review of publicly available information was complete and initial data was uploaded to the online data gathering platform, companies were asked to provide additional information to fill in any gaps. Companies were given four weeks to add data to the platform. Some companies provided information on a confidential basis; such information was used to help calculate scores but is not directly quoted or referenced in the report without permission. Of the 22 companies assessed by the Global Index, six did not provide information during the company contribution stage and have been assessed solely on publicly available information.
- Verification of company facts: Research analysts then reviewed the information submitted and liaised with companies where more information or clarification was needed. Companies were given a week to provide any additional information or clarifications. Research analysts then drafted the company scorecards. Companies were given an opportunity to review both the draft scorecards and the best practices referred to in the Global Index to confirm the factual information. Shortly before publication of the 2018 Global Index, companies received their final scorecards under embargo and were advised of plans for the launch.
- Data analysis and conduct quality assurance: Research analysts from ATNF and Sustainalytics used the data collected on companies to score them using the ATNI assessment methodology. A robust quality assurance process was applied to ensure accurate data collection, interpretation and scoring. The quality assurance process involved crosschecking of information by multiple analysts to ensure consistency for company scoring followed by a final crosscheck by the ATNF research manager.