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new body will raise research standards

November 2004

An international trade association has been formed to promote higher professional standards in CSR research.

The Association for Independent Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Research has been set up by 16 European SRI research and rating groups, among them EthiFinance (France) and Ethical Investment Research Services (UK).

It will ‘develop, promote and maintain high professional standards, expertise and codes of conduct’ among its members.

It will do this partly through the further development of a voluntary quality standard for SRI developed by most of the same organizations with European Commission money earlier this year (EP5, issue 11, p5).

The Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Research Quality Standard, which is being piloted in Europe, sets out ten ways in which SRI ratings and research agencies should improve the quality of their research. These include sourcing information from third parties as well as from the companies researched, and covering all the operating units of a company, and not just headquarters.

Ethibel senior consultant Herwig Peeters has been elected as the association’s president and will divide his time during the next 12 months between the association and Ethibel (Belgium).

Peeters said a main reason for starting the association was to ‘achieve self-regulation in the CSR research sector’ rather than having standards imposed by outside regulation. It also wanted to promote confidence among investors and companies that research by ratings agencies is rigorous and trustworthy.


Further Information
http://www.csrr-qs.org
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