Small and medium-sized enterprises: the index that rewards sustainability is here (18/04/2023)

Investments and data related to the implementation of ESG criteria in large companies have reached an advanced level. The same cannot be said of smaller size and capitalization companies, where both the availability of sustainability assessment data and the investment opportunities more focused on sustainability are still limited.

A contribution in this regard comes from the collaboration between the Sda Bocconi repair lab, Crifa company specializing in credit information systems and the advisor Ambromobiliarewho developed theEsg Ita growth index for the ESG assessment of small and medium enterprises listed in the sub-fund Euronext growth milan. The objective of the research was precisely that of creating a financial benchmark from an ESG perspective that would contribute to promote sustainability for smaller cap companiessince there are no shared evaluation paradigms and standards yet.

Second Michael Calcaterraoperating director of the Repair lab and senior lecturer in entrepreneurial finance at Sda Bocconi, «The benchmarking of this listing sector is preparatory to the implementation of new asset allocation strategies and, therefore, to the definition of ESG investable financial products that have so-called Smcap industries, for example the Pir, or individual savings plans».

In practice, the index has the task of helping to analyze the ESG aspects in listed companies with lower capitalization, allowing investors to resort to a tool that identifies the most sustainable SMEs and increasing the liquidity of companies listed in theEuronext growth milan (EGM) in terms of environmental, social and governance impact.

But how is the ESG level of the individual company calculated? Through an analysis that includes information of a public nature, such as the sustainability report, as well as physical and transition risk maps and information on greenhouse gas emissions. The information assets are developed through models, macro-economic and climatic scenarios and sector benchmarks combined with machine learning methodologies according to a procedure developed by Crif.

Once the data was collected, the suitable companies were identified by applying three evaluation parameters: governance, liquidity and size. In terms of governance, it emerged that around 50% of companies listed on the Euronext growth milan segment show a high level of attention to sustainable governance); with respect to liquidity, companies with too low a trading level have been excluded, which would not make them truly investable; as for the market cap, a capitalization level of between 10 and 500 million euro has been defined.

On the basis of this work, the 30 listed small and medium-sized enterprises have received recognition as ESG best in class, belonging to the sectors of industry, health care, energy, telecommunications and the production of consumer discretionary goods (according to Anglo-Saxon terminology “consumer discretionary “).

The selected companies are: Nusco, Franchi umberto marmi, grifal, cover 50, Ilpra, Gel, Ecosuntek, Gibus, Sciuker frame, Masi Agricola, Alton green storage, Labomar, aterra bioscience,, Trawell, Officina stellare, Convergenze societa benefit, Easy life, Askoll eva, Esi, Racing force, Take off, Farmae’, Confinvest, Fervi, Intred, Matica fintec, Fope, Alfio bardolla training group, Unidata.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

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