ESG-Open-Source Intelligence

Your expert for questions

Gunter Lescher ist Ihr Experte für ESG-Fraud bei PwC Deutschland

Gunter Lescher
Partner, Forensic Services at PwC Germany
Tel: +49 151 12198599

Identifying ESG risks with publicly available data

How does a target company deal with environmental, social and governance issues – ESG for short? Has there already been negative media coverage or legal disputes? Especially within the context of transactions, it is crucial to have a detailed picture of this. Our Global Intelligence Team supports you in identifying and classifying such integrity risks. By focussing on governance issues, we analyse, among other things, general company information as well as media and press reports related to the target company. We also identify key persons and shareholders up to the level of the beneficial owner and include them in our research. For this purpose, we use our worldwide access to relevant information databases, such as sanctions lists, commercial register, court, and media databases.

What an Open-Source Risk Assessment covers

Checking environmental impacts

For the target company, we list the development of environmental indicators covering the past ten years and sift through reported incidents of pollution. Based on ratings and assessments, we analyse the company's perception on the market. In doing so, it is also important to consider positive impacts such as environmentally friendly product and process innovations.

In our research, among other things, we use specialised data providers such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), media databases, websites, ESG risk ratings and press releases.

Assessing high-profile behaviour

An analysis of high-profile behaviour reveals, for instance, allegations of human rights abuses, allegations about the extent of supply chain management, and violations of the ILO core labour standard related to child and forced labour. However, it also allows us to identify initiatives that can strengthen human rights at suppliers. Key data sources for this are the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, OECD NCP Complaints Mechanism, and the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark.

In addition, the analysis also considers information and reports on equal opportunities within the target company and initiatives to strengthen workers' rights.

Consider ESG information of the general partner (GP)

An open-source risk assessment also includes an analysis of ESG-relevant information of the general partner. This includes sustainability reports, the ESG databook, ESG policies and procedures. On the other hand, it also includes the policy statement, the human rights due diligence process, a supplier code of conduct and the commitment to certifications.

Global Intelligence: Which accesses and data sources we use


Sustainalytics conducts independent ESG and corporate governance research and provides ratings and analysis. The data is particularly well-suited to monitoring ESG controversies and finding solutions that will help investors comply with EU ESG regulations.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol is a database for the life cycle of products and the value chain of companies. It is helpful in analysing greenhouse gas emissions and monitoring legal developments in the field of greenhouse gases.


The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) provides information on regulations and policies relating to ESG issues. These include EU and UK taxonomies, sustainability disclosure rules, and data around Net Zero and green investments.

Fitch Connect

Fitch Connect is a source for ESG reports, ratings, and whitepaper. Apart from a monthly newsletter, the platform provides ESG analyses, which have been sub-divided into different sectors.


The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is dedicated to matters relating to the definition of investment practices and policies and corporate behaviours in the context of climate change. It offers ESG insights into the current discourse.

Follow us

Contact us

Gunter Lescher

Gunter Lescher

Partner, Forensic Services, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 151 12198599

Cornelia  Steensgaard-Hansen

Cornelia Steensgaard-Hansen

Senior Manager, Forensic Services, PwC Germany