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  • Gordon Tveito-Duncan

A lens on ESG claims

Updated: 3 days ago

John Durie, link here

Just as ESG hype wanes, regulation in Australia and around the world is increasing, complicating life for big investors and companies as corporate cops step up scrutiny of the veracity of claims.

The trick for big super funds is to know just which investee company is doing what and how this meets with it and their own regulatory obligations across the supply chain, from suppliers to customers. Regulators globally are quick to jump on funds overhyping their green credentials.

Into this gap steps London-based GaiaLens, which is an AI-backed analytical software tool to help funds track their investments and obligations.

Founded five years ago by Seb Kirk and Gordon Tveito-Duncan, the company launches its Australian arm this week with a small team backed by former superannuation minister Nick Sherry and including Nick Brookes, Dave Coogan, Chris Liddell and Dave Goodwin.

Gaia is the Greek goddess of the earth, mother of all life on earth and former hippy poster child, which Tveito-Duncan figured was an appropriate name for their bespoke software-as-a-service product.

The company has about 30 institutional clients and a slew of prospective clients in Australia based on past visits.

GaiaLens does not have the sector to itself, with ClarityAI, Integrum ESG and True Value Labs as other players in the game.

GaiaLens starts working with the fund, working through its known problems to design its system to match the issues.

Consistent data is a key issue as regulatory demands come more from across a wider range of asset classes, from carbon emissions to biodiversity.

The service also screens potential investee opportunities, helping with portfolio analytics.

Email alerts are sent to the investor when an investee company steps off track, or explains just how a new investment meets the criteria of 20,000 globally listed companies and two million private companies from the perspective of equity, fixed interest, real estate and infrastructure investments.

The bottom line for fund managers is just as Wesfarmers chair Michael Chaney has advocated for decades, “investing in a sustainable future is both an ethical decision and makes good business sense”.

GaiaLens helps by providing a measuring tool to match investments to these aims and the accompanying regulations.



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