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ИД «Финансы и кредит»






Economic Analysis: Theory and Practice

Comprehensive assessment of sustainable development as a responsible investment tool

Vol. 22, Iss. 12, DECEMBER 2023

Received: 14 September 2023

Received in revised form: 3 October 2023

Accepted: 20 October 2023

Available online: 28 December 2023


JEL Classification: C81, G11, Q01

Pages: 2270–2292


Irina V. ZENKINA Financial University under Government of Russian Federation, Moscow, Russian Federation


Subject. The article addresses methodology and practice of comprehensive assessment of economic efficiency, environmental, social responsibility, and organizational management.
Objectives. The study aims at comprehensive consideration of problems of information and methodological support to ESG assessment of companies as a tool of responsible investment, identification of ways to improve the quality of ESG performance assessment to make fully informed, ESG-conscious, and strategically valuable investment decisions.
Methods. The study employs methods of systems, complex, comparative, structural, and logical analysis. I performed a content analysis of approaches to the formation of ESG ratings of the world's leading rating agencies. The paper gives a comparative assessment of the content of major foreign and domestic ESG ratings.
Results. The paper considers prerequisites for improving the quality of ESG assessment related to shortcomings of information and methodological support for the analysis of sustainable development, underpins the main areas for improving the ESG assessment, offers an approach to comprehensive assessment of company's sustainable development that complements ESG ratings and involves in-depth research on priority issues of sustainable development.
Conclusions. Priority areas for improving the quality of ESG assessment include harmonization of sustainable development reporting standards, consistent transition to mandatory preparation of ESG reporting, elaboration of a standardized list of ESG reporting indicators, development of the institution of independent external confirmation of ESG reporting. It is crucial to increase transparency, validity, and objectivity of methodological approaches to ESG assessment. A comprehensive assessment that involves in-depth analysis on priority issues, enables to overcome the shortcomings of the ESG rating assessment, and, is, therefore, a more reliable basis for informed investment decisions.

Keywords: responsible investment, ESG integration, ESG data, sustainability reporting, comprehensive ESG assessment


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