Morningstar signed the U.N. Global Compact (UNGC) in 2021, committing the firm to align our business strategy and operations with the U.N.’s 10 universal principles and advancing the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.
In June, Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor sat down to discuss the firm’s UNGC membership and how we support the UNGC’s core principles.
Q: Why join the U.N. Global Compact?
Kunal Kapoor: Many of the UNGC’s principles and goals naturally align with Morningstar’s efforts to make sustainability data and information clear and accessible for a wide range of audiences.
Our UNGC membership helps orient our internal business practices with the kinds of outcomes that many of our stakeholders indicate they support. And, of course, when we join other firms in this global agreement, it helps all of us move the needle on the critical sustainability issues the world is facing.
Our membership is also consistent with who we are as a firm: Morningstar recently added ‘Sustainable Responsibility’ to our core values, reflecting our firm-wide focus on driving transparency and access to ESG data, which we know will contribute to a more just and equitable global economy.
We see the UNGC as similarly committed to transparency and progress; for example, the UNGC’s
Of course, our participation in the UNGC is consistent with Morningstar’s key product offerings, too. Our research and ratings is designed to help investors understand the ESG risk in their portfolios; increasingly, our efforts are focused on helping investors understand the extent to which their investments align with international standards on human rights, for example, or a decarbonizing economy.
This kind of connection between our mission, our product offerings, and the UNGC’s core principles makes the agreement a natural fit for Morningstar. We’re excited because we think this membership will help inform our business strategy, hold us accountable, and increase our firm’s value over the long term.
Q: Our firm is focused on five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Why these five? Why not all? And what does that alignment mean?
Kunal Kapoor: We’re disciplined about focusing our efforts—no firm can be all things to all people. So, we’re careful to focus our efforts on five specific goals that relate to our firm’s core competencies.
In 2020, we reviewed our materiality assessment, which helped us understand the sustainability topics most likely to impact our business performance and the topics most important to our stakeholders.