oekom research AG sees the provision of high-quality products and services as a fundamental part of its business activity. This requires a structured approach to integrating quality aspects into all relevant activities and internal departments. To this end we have introduced a comprehensive quality management system (QMS), which should help us in our continuous efforts to optimise client benefit and satisfaction. Furthermore, oekom research is audited regularly by an independent institution against the European voluntary quality standard for responsible investment ARISTA®.
The article “It’s the quality, stupid” from the oekom Corporate Responsibility Review 2012 looks at the demands on sustainability rating agencies in terms of quality management.
Quality Management System
Integral components of the QMS include defining the strategic objective of the system, systematically identifying potential areas for improvement as well as setting goals and specifying appropriate measures for their implementation within the framework of an action plan. In addition, the operation of the QMS and the implementation of the action plan are kept under scrutiny through regular monitoring.
All oekom research AG’s employees have been involved in getting the QMS off the ground and will be responsible for its implementation in their respective fields of activity. The executive board holds the overall responsibility for the QMS. The strategic orientation and focus serve as a basis for the development and shaping of the QMS. The quality manager is in charge of the implementation and further development of the QMS. The quality manager provides training for all team members and acts as contact person within the company for all questions concerning quality.
Certification against the international Deep Data Delivery Standard
Initiated by a scientific board lead by Prof. Andreas Hoepner, ICMA Centre of Henley Busines School, together with numerous investors and asset managers the Deep Data Delivery Standard is a self-commitment of research and analyst firms to comply to clearly defined quality requirements that include a total of ten criteria. These are independence, the management of conflicts of interest, the rating process, the actuality of rating results, the consistency as well as transparency of the rating methodology and more. Through this, investors and the financial market are meant to gain clarity and orientation in selecting service providers in the field of sustainability rating.
The compliance with the standard is audited by an independent board that judges on the basis of the information and data provided by the research firms.
With the award recognitions that were granted in the course of the quality initiative oekom research has received the „Gold Standard“ and is now attested to comply to all aspects of the strict and concrete catalogue of requirements for the generation and provision of ESG information defined by the Deep Data Delivery Standard.
Certification against the European voluntary quality standard ARISTA®
Launched by ARISE, the Association for Responsible Investment Services, the voluntary quality standard ARISTA® has been developed to drive high quality research and analysis for organisations in the field.
The assessment and auditing process of the quality standard requires research groups to:
focus on continuous quality improvements and develop an action plan to drive quality across all research areas
develop and implement best practice and codes of conduct to ensure independence, integrity, probity, transparency and accountability within each research group as well as in the research process
ensure the robustness of each group’s research processes and embed continuous monitoring of quality in their work
reassure clients and other stakeholders that research groups ‘do what they say they do’
publish an externally verified Transparency Matrix that reveals the data necessary to reinforce trust and confidence in each research group’s methodology
"As an increasing number of investors, consumers, employees and other stakeholders follow and make greater use of sustainability ratings, it is imperative that raters improve their efforts on quality assurance and control. We do see promising approaches emerging on quality, for example the Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Research Voluntary Quality Standard. oekom research is one of the few rating companies that is certified according to this demanding standard."
SustainAbility, "Rate the Raters" Research Project
Responsibilities in the framework of quality management
The executive board holds the overall responsibility for the Quality Management System (QMS). The strategic orientation and focus serve as a basis for the development and shaping of the QMS.
Member of the executive board in charge of the QMS: Matthias Bönning
The quality manager is in charge of the implementation and further development of the QMS. The quality manager provides training for all team members and acts as contact person within the company for all questions concerning quality.
Quality manager: Laura Albarracin, Andreas von Angerer
oekom research AG
In this way, oekom research AG expresses its own aspirations with regard to quality and sets a standard which its customers and collaborative partners can rely on and which provides them with security for their investment decisions.