To define policy engagement, InfluenceMap relies on the 2013 Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy issued by the secretariat of the UNFCCC and the UNEP under the UN's Caring for Climate collaboration of the UN Global Compact. This document defines a list of corporate activities that constitute corporate climate engagement, covering direct and indirect tactics. These range across social media; public relations; sponsoring research; direct contact with regulators and elected officials; funding of campaigns and political parties; and participation in policy advisory committees.
This analysis and scoring are focused on an organization's publicly available comments, interactions, and influence on policy and legislation. It does not consider internal strategy, activities, and performance of a company on sustainable finance or climate change related issues.
InfluenceMap's scoring process is policy neutral. It does not assess the quality of governmental policy but rather the positions of financial institutions and industry groups relative to this policy. This is achieved by using the statements and ambitions of government-mandated bodies tasked to propose or implement sustainable finance policy as the benchmarks against which financial institution and industry association policy positions are scored.
Scored evidence is coded by InfluenceMap as: ‘strongly supporting’, ‘supporting’, ‘no position/mixed position’, ‘not supporting/supporting with exceptions’, or ‘opposing’ with reference to the benchmarks explained above. These categories correspond to a numerical five-point scale between +2 and -2, where +2 indicates strong support and -2 indicates opposition.
InfluenceMap searches for new evidence on each entity on a weekly basis. When new evidence is found, it is added to the entity's profile. InfluenceMap uses a weighting system when calculating the entities' Organization and Total Scores, which weights the most recent evidence pieces more heavily, with older evidence pieces gradually weighted out of the entity's score. InfluenceMap retains older pieces in the system, however, for the historical record.
The current assessment of sustainable finance policy engagement focuses on EU, UK and US financial institutions and, therefore, primarily covers policies within these jurisdictions. As sustainable finance regulations develop globally, InfluenceMap plans to expand this analysis to cover a wider range of geographies.
InfluenceMap started with a list of the 25 largest banks, asset managers and insurers in Europe and the 10 largest in each category in the US. Scaling these up to the financial group level and removing duplicates resulted in a final list of 84 financial institutions.