Home > Inrate Study: Sector Analysis on Communication

Inrate Study: Sector Analysis on Communication

Apr 22, 2020

This study explores the main environmental and social issues related to companies in the Communication Sector as well as the relevant fields of action with regards to a sustainable development. Furthermore, material sustainability themes such as data usage, energy consumption as well as anticompetitive behaviour are discussed in terms of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities.

Communication is a human need, which is fulfilled by a variety of complementary products and services
provided by the Communication Sector. Communication technologies have seen a rapid growth in the last decade and we have entered an age in which data is considered “the new oil”. The transition to the information age has been characterized by digitalization efforts and disruptive technologies that fundamentally changed the way people communicate and access information. Facilitated through
innovative solutions and the expansion of the network infrastructure, new business models have emerged. The Communication Sector exerts a high degree of influence on society, which presents both challenges (e.g. data privacy, information quality and energy consumption) and opportunities (e.g. social inclusion, decarbonization).

Numerous companies potentially produce a positive net sustainability impact by offering products and
services that substitute traditional activities (e.g. facilitation of geographically Independent communication instead of long-distance travelling). However, as opposed to face-to-face communication, digital communication, requiring data flows over a certain distance through a transmission medium, certainly produces negative externalities: extensive energy usage through digitalization, social exclusion due to a lack of internet access or privacy infringements caused by the exploitation of data.

The sector, as defined by Inrate, ranges from telecommunications operators to advertising and printing
companies and therefore entails a wide array of companies with diverging products and services with differing impacts on society, the environment and the economy. Further, the Communication Sector is driven by constant technological innovation and disruption, which not only transforms business models within the industry itself but also changes the business conduct across all other industries. Inrate’s ESG Impact Analysis takes all these factors into consideration in order to help responsible investors in
identifying companies that contribute to sustainable development.


Financial market infrastructure provider SIX announced today the launch of a new climate data offering, aimed at supporting investors in reporting and monitoring of climate factors, and in climate-related investment and risk decision making.

The climate data sets, from various data providers in a range of industries, will provide clients with modelled and reported emissions data, covering over 33,000 companies globally, and bringing together multiple data sets on regulatory, historical and forward-looking climate impacts from providers including MSCI and Inrate. SIX also announced that it has recently entered into an agreement with environmental disclosure platform CDP to offer access to its global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Dataset across various industries.

According to SIX, the new data sets come as investors increasingly require ESG and climate data to monitor investment decisions and to meet growing regulatory disclosure requirements, including the EU’s SFDR and the U.S.’ upcoming SEC Climate Disclosure Rules.

Martina Macpherson, Head ESG Product Strategy and Management, Financial Information, SIX, said:

“Understanding, measuring and managing climate risk and opportunities, as well as the impact that these can have on investment decisions, is a critical area of focus for market participants and policy makers alike. As more climate risk monitoring and reporting is required globally, the cost of compliance is increasing – both in operations and in terms of specialist ESG resources. SIX works with established providers of basic and specific ESG and climate data in the market.”