A new tool aims to promote investor engagement by cutting through misleading and false information.
Fintech firm Iceberg Data Lab’s recently launched Barbatus tool uses generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help ESG analysts interpret ESG-related data to improve benchmarking and assess companies’ environmental impact. judge.
The AI-powered tool generates real-time, text-based and fully informed explanations in response to questions about portfolio companies’ ESG data.
Speak with ESGMatthieu Maurin, CEO of Iceberg Data Lab, described the tool as an “AI ESG assistant” aimed at analysts, which aims to help them more effectively interpret the ESG-related data of the companies they invest in, improve benchmarking and increase their understanding of how companies can reduce their impact on the environment.
Maurin said the tool is capable of understanding and extracting qualitative and quantitative information from unstructured and structured data from publicly available information, such as annual reports and sustainability reports.
Pierre Olivier-Haye, CTO at Iceberg Data Lab, explains ESG that one of the fintech’s main issues with existing generative AI products on the market is the “lack of transparency they provide.”
He said that when designing the tool, the company wanted to ensure that transparency “remained a priority feature”, which is “critical to corporate governance responsibilities”, in addition to responding to allegations of greenwashing in the sector with “substantiated facts”.
Resources, quantity and pace of regulation are key constraints that ESG analysts face, according to Maurin, and that the new tool aims to alleviate.
He said many teams of ESG analysts have a “limited budget” or “huge coverage” in terms of the amount of data they need to process.
“These types of tools allow them to both increase their productivity and improve accuracy, reliability and access to relevant data,” Maurin added.
Iceberg Data Lab develops assessment tools and provides environmental data solutions to financial institutions. The company’s data set includes more than 2,300 different products and services and has a customer base of approximately 40 financial institutions, including AXA, Aviva, BNP Paribas, HSBC and Robeco.
“As financial institutions have shown increasing interest in ESG issues, reporting frameworks have simultaneously become increasingly complex,” says Maurin, adding that Barbatus aims to respond to these issues by helping clients analyze complex ESG data faster, more transparently and more effectively, allowing them to better understand the impact of their investments on the environment, while at the same time enabling and accelerating their own transition path.
Barbatus has been in pilot phase since September 2022 and was initially developed for use as an internal tool before being rolled out to Iceberg Data Lab’s own customers.
“We realized that the needs of our own analysts are the same as those of our clients, including financial institutions, corporations and consultancies,” said Olivier-Haye.
More than 60 different financial institutions have used the tool as part of the pilot phase.
Olivier-Haye said the tool has the potential to assist financial institutions in their engagement activities with companies they invest in their portfolios.
“This tool will help with engagement as financial institutions can ask what the key issues of a sector are,” he said, adding that it will aid in understanding a particular topic and help inform engagement activities between investors and companies in which investments are made.
“Barbatus represents a new generation of generative AI, allowing our customers to know exactly the page, paragraph and source from which our AI assistant has extracted information to answer each question,” said Olivier-Haye.
“It will allow ESG analysts to work much more efficiently, track the supply chain and greenhouse gas emissions, and monitor a company’s compliance with what it has promised.”
Users upload files, such as annual reports or datasets, to the Barbatus platform and then search the information based on a prompt entered by the analyst.
Because the tool analyzes the data provided instead of asking you to search sources yourself for data such as ChatGPT, Olivier-Haye emphasized that Barbatus does not provide “wrong information”.
“The tool is not going to make up information to make the user happy,” he said. “I prefer that to false information, because that would be really misleading and catastrophic for our customers.”