Accenture invests in ESG specialist Arabesque S-Ray

18 March 2021 4 min. read
More news on

Global consulting firm Accenture has continued its latest campaign of investments with the backing of German-UK sustainability group Arabesque S-Ray. The deal will grant Accenture access to the environmental, social, and corporate governance expert’s full range of solutions and analysis.

Specialising in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), Arabesque S-Ray is a provider of sustainability data, advisory and insights services. The company’s quantitative algorithmic approach combines big data and ESG metrics to assess the performance of over 8,000 companies worldwide, while S-Ray’s self-learning technology systematically combines over 200 ESG metrics with news signals from over 30,000 sources across 170 countries.

As international consulting giant Accenture looks to bolster its sustainability services and analytics capabilities, it has agreed to a strategic investment from Accenture Ventures in Arabesque S-Ray. The deal means Accenture will have full access to Arabesque S-Ray solutions and analysis of transparent, non-financial and sustainability performance metrics to enhance its existing and highly differentiated sustainability capabilities – extending a pre-existing working relationship between the two entities.

Accenture invests in ESG specialist Arabesque S-Ray

Peter Lacy, Global Sustainability Services Lead at Accenture, said, “Sustainability transformation must be both technology-driven and linked to value to be successful... We are pleased to expand our relationship with Arabesque S-Ray to help our clients lead with better decision making, more informed investment prioritisation, and accelerated realisation of overall business value from their sustainability efforts, goals and ambitions.”

Accenture has previously leveraged Arabesque S-Ray data and analytics to offer help clients boost both their environmental and financial performance. For example, the firm deployed Arabesque S-Ray solutions for its analysis ‘The Bottom Line on Trust’ – examining more than 7,000 companies around the world operating across 20 industries.

During the research, Accenture Strategy used S-Ray data to co-develop a proprietary “trust score” to prove that trust is a critical component of competitiveness, as important as growth and profitability.

Accenture's ventures wing

Accenture Ventures is focused on investing in companies that create or apply disruptive enterprise technologies, and through the agreement. Looking ahead, Accenture will further enable Arabesque S-Ray by supporting its data and processing capabilities. Together, the companies will also develop new tools and methods for capturing, analysing and reporting ESG data.

Commenting on the news, Daniel Klier, incoming CEO of Arabesque S-Ray, said, “The demand for access to and analysis of ESG data has only been increasing. We’re excited to expand our working relationship with Accenture, and to offer more companies around the world the ability to gain insights into their sustainability efforts and drive real success together.”

Klier, who is the outgoing Global Head of Sustainable Finance with HSBC, arrives at the firm in June 2021, and will add to an impressive roster of senior sustainability experts in the company’s leadership. Chairman George Kell is a Founding Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, while the board also includes John Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School; Yolanda Kakabadse, Former President of WWF International; Carolyn Woo, Former CEO and President of Catholic Relief Services; and Barbara J. Krumsiek, Former CEO and President of Calvert Investments.

ESG on the rise

The move is the latest in a succession of deals which see the global consulting industry shifting to boost its ESG credentials. In 2020, for example, strategy giant Bain & Company completed a minority investment in EcoVadis, a French-origin provider of ESG ratings for supply chains. The Paris-headquartered company monitors how sustainable and ethical the procurement and supply chain practice of companies are.

As part of the deal Bain also integrated EcoVadis’ sustainability ratings into its approaches to corporate strategy, supply chain and procurement.