Andrey Bogdanov unpacks how South African CFOs can improve their ESG maturity

The Risk Insights CEO explains that CFOs can improve their ESG reporting by using the ESG GPS tool.

The letters ESG are becoming a massive focus in the glossiest of integrated reports of JSE-listed companies. “ESG will impact company competitiveness and ultimately the investor confidence in a company,” says Risk Insights CEO Andrey Bogdanov, who will be giving the keynote address at this year’s Finance Meets HR ESG Summit.

During this important summit, finance and HR leaders will learn, debate and interrogate what a commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance really means for executives and the companies they work for.

Because of the increasing importance of ESG reporting, data science company Risk Insights launched an AI-powered ESG rating tool in 2020 that provides ESG ratings for all listed companies on several African Exchanges.

“[ESG GPS] examines sustainability related information based on disclosure of information and critical environmental, social and governance factors, and measures this against financial performance over a central tendency,” explains Risk Insights CEO Andrey Bogdanov.

Leveraging off the AI-powered capabilities of the ESG GPS tool, Risk Insights has announced the launch of its new ESG GPS visualised strategy business intelligence tool, ESG GPS X-Ray for South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. “In 2020 when ESG GPS was launched we realised that ESG maturity in South Africa and the continent was low. So we launched the ratings into the country to have leadership adjust to the risk management change that was imminent,” Andrey says.

He adds that Risk Insights first released how company disclosure was being reported, allowing time for change management. “Eighteen months later, although awareness of ESG has increased, maturity is improving but is still low.”

Now, Andrey explains that X Ray provides leadership the opportunity to look at what is being reported, not just how. “X Ray provides a see-through on every company’s materiality factor results; how a company’s strategy on carbon emissions compares to what it reports and how it compares to the sector.”

The tool will ensure that companies are reporting in a consistent and transparent manner to all stakeholders and removes “all the fluff”, he says.