Forest of tall white aspen trees in Banff National park, Canada
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Citing increasing investor demand for insight on companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) is getting into the ESG data business.

ICE, which operates the New York Stock Exchange and other exchanges, announced that it will launch a new data service covering ESG factors for companies listed both in the U.S. and internationally.

The exchange giant said that the new service, which it aims to launch in the second half of 2020, is intended to help investors better assess ESG risks and opportunities by providing information on metrics such as reported greenhouse gas emissions and board diversity.

The data available through the new service will grow as ESG disclosure evolves, ICE said.

“Increasingly, investors across the world are including ESG risk into their investment decisions, reflecting a view that companies that maintain good metrics in this area may generate stronger returns, deliver lower risk, and adhere to sound management principles,” ICE said.

“The ESG landscape is evolving rapidly, and investors are increasingly looking for comparable, decision-useful data,” Lynn Martin, president of ICE Data Services, said in a statement.

“Our goal is to increase transparency for these metrics, enabling customers to better understand the risks and opportunities that exist in the market,” Martin added.

ICE is developing the new service in partnership with BofA Global Research, which will incorporate the data into its equity and credit analysis and client research reports.