By signing the ESG in credit risk and ratings statement, credit rating agencies and fixed income investors commit to incorporating ESG into credit ratings and analysis in a systematic and transparent way. To date, the statement is supported by over 160 investors (with more than US$30trn in collective AUM) and 23 credit rating agencies (CRAs).

This statement remains open to new credit rating agency and investor signatories.

Contact fi@unpri.org for information on how to sign up.

We, the undersigned, recognise that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors can affect borrowers’ cash flows and the likelihood that they will default on their debt obligations. ESG factors are therefore important elements in assessing the creditworthiness of borrowers. For corporates, concerns such as stranded assets linked to climate change, labour relations challenges or lack of transparency around accounting practices can cause unexpected losses, expenditure, inefficiencies, litigation, regulatory pressure and reputational impacts.

At a sovereign level, risks related to, inter alia, natural resource management, public health standards and corruption can all affect tax revenues, trade balance and foreign investment. The same is true for local governments and special purpose vehicles issuing project bonds. Such events can result in bond price volatility, and increase the risk of defaults.

In order to more fully address major market and idiosyncratic risk in debt capital markets, underwriters, credit rating agencies and investors should consider the potential financial materiality of ESG factors in a strategic and systematic way. Transparency on which ESG factors are considered, how these are integrated, and the extent to which they are deemed material in credit assessments will enable better alignment of key stakeholders.

In doing this the stakeholders should recognise that credit ratings reflect exclusively an assessment of an issuer’s creditworthiness. Credit rating agencies must be allowed to maintain full independence in determining which criteria may be material to their ratings. While issuer ESG analysis may be considered an important part of a credit rating, the two assessments should not be confused or seen as interchangeable.

With this in mind, we share a common vision to enhance systematic and transparent consideration of ESG factors in the assessment of creditworthiness.

How credit rating agencies support this vision

The credit rating agencies listed below recognise the needs of investors for greater clarity on how ESG factors are considered in credit analysis. In order to achieve this shared goal to enhance systematic and transparent consideration of ESG factors in the assessment of creditworthiness, the credit rating agencies listed below affirm their commitment to:

  • evaluate the extent to which ESG factors are credit-relevant for different issuers;
  • publish their views transparently on the ways in which ESG factors are considered in credit ratings;
  • review the ways ESG factors are integrated into credit analysis as our understanding of these factors evolves;
  • maintain organisational governance and resourcing to deliver quality ratings, including ESG analysis where relevant;
  • participate in industry-wide efforts to develop consistent public disclosure by issuers on ESG factors that could impact their creditworthiness;
  • participate in dialogue with investors to identify and understand ESG risks to creditworthiness.

Credit rating agency signatories

Organisation A-Z 
Axesor Rating
Bell Ratings
Cerved Rating Agency S.p.A.
China Chengxin International Credit Rating Co., Ltd.
Dagong Global Credit Ratings Group
Fedafin AG
Fitch Group, Inc.
Golden Credit Rating International Co., Ltd.
Japan Credit Rating Agency
JCR Eurasia Rating
Kroll Bond Rating Agency
Liberum Ratings
Microfinanza Rating
Moody’s Corporation
National Rating Agency
Nordic Credit Rating
Pacific Credit Rating
Qivalio
RAM Ratings
Rating-Agentur Expert RA GmbH
Rating and Investment Information, Inc.
Scope Ratings
S&P Global Ratings

How investors support this vision

The investors listed are all signatories to the six UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. In signing the Principles, the investors listed below affirm their commitment to:

  • incorporate ESG factors into investment analysis and decision-making processes;
  • seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by investee entities;
  • report on activities and progress towards implementing responsible investment.

Specifically, as fixed income investors, and as the primary users of credit ratings, the signatories of this statement will support formal integration of ESG factors into ratings. This helps ensure ESG risks are appropriately addressed in investment decision making, which will increase investor confidence in the quality and utility of those ratings. To support these efforts, these investors seek to participate in dialogue and engage in collaborative initiatives with other investors and credit rating agencies to further efforts to integrate ESG. 

Investor signatories

A-ZOrganisation

A

Aberdeen Standard Investments
ACTIAM
Addenda Capital Inc.
AEGON Asset Management
Alberta Investment Management Corporation
Alliance Bernstein
Allianz Global Investors
Allianz SE
AlphaFixe Capital Inc.
AMP Capital Investors

Anima SGR
APG Asset Management
Ardea Investment Management
ASR Nederland N.V.
Australian Ethical Investment Ltd.
AustralianSuper
Aviva Investors
AXA Group
AXA Investment Managers

B

Bank J. Safra Sarasin Ltd
Barings LLC
Bâtirente
BlueBay Asset Management LLP
BMO Global Asset Management
BNP Paribas Asset Management
Brandywine Global Investment Management, LLC

Breckinridge Capital Advisors
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
British Columbia Municipal Pension Plan
Brown Advisory
BT Pension Scheme

C

Cairn Capital Group Limited
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Caja Ingenieros Gestión SGIIC, SAU
California Public Employees’ Retirement System CalPERS
Calvert Research and Management
Candriam Investors Group
CCOO, FP
CDC - Caisse des dépôts et consignations
Challenger Limited
Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc.
Church of Sweden

CIBC Asset Management Inc.
Colchester Global Investors Limited
Colonial First State Global Asset Management (including First State Investments)
Commonfund
Compass Group
Conning, Inc. and Conning Asset Management, Ltd.
Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd.
Crescent Capital Group

D

DDJ Capital Management, LLC
Delta Alternative Management

Domini Impact Investments 

E

EGAMO
ERAFP - Etablissement de Retraite Additionnelle de la Fonction Publique Pension Scheme

Erste Asset Management GmbH
ESG Portfolio Management

F

Federal Finance
Federated Hermes Inc.
Fidelity International
Fiera Capital Corporation
First State Superannuation Scheme
Fonds de réserve pour les retraites - FRR
Franklin Templeton Investments
Futuregrowth Asset Management

First State Superannuation Scheme
Fonds de réserve pour les retraites - FRR
Franklin Templeton Investments
Futuregrowth Asset Management

G

Galliard Capital Management, Inc.
Generation Investment Management LLP
Geroa Pentsioak EPSV

Global Evolution
Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM)
Gramercy Funds Management

Hermes Investment Management
HESTA Super Fund

HSBC Global Asset Management

I

IFM InvestorsIncome Research & Management
Insight Investment

Investec Asset Management
Itaú Asset Management
IVM Caring Capital

J

Janus Henderson Investors
Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited

Jupiter Asset Management

K

Kempen Capital Management NV
KfW Bankengruppe 

KLP

L

La Française Group
Länsförsäkringar AB
Legal & General Investment Management (Holdings)
Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd.
Local Government Superannuation Scheme

LocalTapiola Asset Management Ltd
Lombard Odier
Longfellow Investment Management Co., LLC
Lord Abbett

M

M&G Investments
Maitri Asset Management
Maple-Brown Abbott Limited
Mariner Investment Group, LLC.
MFS Investment Management
Mirova

MN
Mondrian Investment Partners Limited
Moneda Asset Management
Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. (MBII)
Morgan Stanley Investment Management
Muzinich & Co

N

Neuberger Berman Group LLC
Nikko Asset Management Co. Ltd.
NN Investment Partners

Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd.
Norwegian Government Pension Fund Norway (Norwegian Ministry of Finance and Folketrygdfondet)

O

OFI Asset Management
Ohman
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

OP Wealth Management (OP Asset Management Ltd, OP Fund Management Ltd and OP Property Management Ltd)
Ostrum Asset Management

P

Partners Group AG
Payden & Rygel
Pegaso - Fondo pensione complementare
Pension Protection Fund
PGGM Investments~PGIM Fixed Income
PIMCO

PineBridge Investments
Principal Global Investors
Prudential Portfolio Managers (South Africa)
Public Investment Corporation (PIC)
Public Sector Pension Investment Board

Q

QBE Insurance Group Limited

QIC

R

RBC Global Asset Management
Régime de Retraite de l’Université de Montréal

RobecoSAM AG
Royal London Asset Management

S

Sage Advisory Services, Ltd.
Sanlam Investment Management (SIM)
Sarasin & Partners LLP
Saturna Capital
Schroders

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) AB
SKY Harbor Capital Management
Sparinvest S.A.
Stone Harbor Investment Partners LP
Svenska Handelsbanken AB (Publ)

T

T&D Asset Management Co., Ltd.
Tareno AG
TD Asset Management (TD Asset Management Inc.)
Tokio Marine Asset Management Co., Ltd. Japan

TPT Retirement Solutions
Treehouse Investments, LLC
Triodos Investment Management B.V.

U

UBS Asset Management
Union Asset Management Holding AG

Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA
University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (re University of Toronto Endowment)

V

Vancity Investment Management

Victorian Funds Management Corporation

W

Wellington Management Company LLP

Wespath Investment Management (General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church)

Z

Zurich Insurance Group

 

This statement remains open to new credit rating agency and investor signatories.

Contact fi@unpri.org for information on how to sign up.