We are excited to announce the publication of Morningstar’s 2021 Corporate Sustainability Report, which examines the firm’s commitment to building ESG data, research, and tools for all investors and prioritizing principles of sustainability in our workplace and the communities in which we operate.
Morningstar’s mission is to empower investor success. We’ve always believed that investors have the right to know what’s in their portfolios—and we believe that our stakeholders deserve transparency into all relevant aspects of how we conduct business. Thirty-five years in the market has helped us demonstrate the powerful role of data disclosure in delivering reliable and accessible information that supports better decision making. Now, we’re closely tracking the enhanced comparability of sustainability data across firms and industries and helping investors and companies better understand the connections between ESG data and the overall sustainability of business.
In the 2021 Report, we’re focused on conveying how our firm is grappling with some of the biggest challenges in the financial services sector. For example, data security and privacy is a material issue for Morningstar as it is for most financial services firms, which handle sensitive personal information. It has been difficult for investors to understand how to map strong practices to measurable results and the industry lacks consensus on relevant data sets that might reflect reliable systems. So this year, we’re releasing data on notable security incidents, detailing the methodology that underpins our measurement, and reporting our work to protect client data and build resilient products. Issues pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion are also material topics for Morningstar; our success relies on our ability to attract and retain talent and we embrace the research that indicates that diversity thrives in a culture of transparency. This year, we’re releasing adjusted and unadjusted pay gap data for our offices around the globe. The firm has work to do in this area; we also believe that regular disclosure and analysis will help us close the gap.
We’re reorienting our business around future-focused opportunities, including climate and impact-related partnerships. In August, we joined the United Nations Global Compact, supporting its 10 principles and setting a course to evaluate the impact of our business with respect to five UN Sustainable Development Goals that are particularly relevant to the work that we do. In September, we became a founding member of the Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance. Limiting temperature increase requires a whole economy in transition and we’re committed to reaching net zero emissions before or by 2050, while achieving interim milestones along the way. The path forward isn’t clear: We know that the energy, policy, technology and market backdrop will shift in the next 20 years.
This year, we’re also releasing a Sustainability Accounting Standards Board-aligned report. This report discloses standardized data across the professional and commercial services industry; it allows readers to compare our performance with peers and is illustrative of the kind of consistent frameworks that are helping investors make well-informed decisions.
Within the financial services industry, expectations—and skepticism—are high. The landscape is rapidly evolving. As CEO Kunal Kapoor, and Sustainalytics Founder, Michael Jantzi wrote in this year’s report: We expect our colleagues and stakeholders to hold us to high standards in the years ahead. We intend to build a company that supports investors for the long term in a way that we hope leads to a more just and sustainable world.