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13. 06. 2024

3 min read

FreightWaves: Semantic Visions draws on global media deep dive to build ESG index

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Grace Sharkey, www.freightwaves.com

Company uses natural language processing in newly launched index to review over 1.1 million articles a day.

Data analytics firm Semantic Visions, in partnership with digital solutions firm Actum Digital, recently launched its Environmental, Social and Governance Index, providing companies with data to inform their efforts toward sustainable operations and ethical business practices.

According to the Prague-based company, the index is built on globally curated and enriched data covering over 1.1 million web-based media documents daily from 220,000 unique sources. Leveraging the expertise of native speakers of 12 languages, the ESG index employs natural language processing that mimics human reading by extracting events, sentiments, entities and other key metrics.

Semantic Visions’ proprietary AI alerts companies to risks that may be relevant for clients. An example would be providing shippers with information about unethical business practices within their supply chains.

“You can use our data for reputation monitoring because we continuously monitor the media for you,” Lukas Gabor, ESG lead at Actum Digital, told FreightWaves. “Once something becomes a threat or a negative ESG event appears, you get real-time information about it.”

Semantic Visions was created five years ago as an enterprise risk management and compliance firm, providing auditing services for clients. While the United States has been slow to adopt official ESG policies, incorporating two financial sector regulations and five voluntary guidelines, Gabor has experienced a different attitude toward regulation in Europe, which has 20 rules and 25 voluntary guidelines.

“Companies don’t always see the benefits from ESG initiatives, so I spend a lot of time talking with them and showing them that preparing for these regulations can also bring them benefits,” he explained.

These can include evaluating suppliers’ completion of due diligence requirements, organization benchmarking, uncovering opportunities for improvement, detecting industry trends, and assessing financial and other impacts that ESG initiatives have on a business.

Gabor pointed out that while leaders hear ESG and immediately think of sustainability, the methodology behind the index weighs the social and governance impacts equally.

“Our index helps you identify categories where an organization is failing. … Being able to drill down into each of these categories will show you the real situation. A company may excel in E but not as good in S and G,” said Gabor.

While risk management is where the company’s roots lie, Sari Serhan, chief commercial officer of Semantic Visions, believes the index can also help propel global sustainability achievements.

“I hate to look at things from a purely compliance perspective, even though compliance is a key part of ESG. I like to look at it as, where is the opportunity to improve and help make this planet a bit more sustainable,” he explained.

Gabor, who has spent his career in environmental work and analytics, sees the index as a means to help navigate the significant ongoing shift in ESG.

“Companies meeting their regulations is just the first step, and for many companies, it’s going to cost them money and long-term monitoring and optimization of processes, and that’s where we can help them with that change management. … A step-by-step approach towards transporting them to a more sustainable and socially responsible company,” he explained.

Source: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/semantic-visions-draws-on-global-media-deep-dive-to-build-esg-index

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