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Automatic ESG Assessment of Companies by Mining and Evaluating Media Coverage Data: NLP Approach and Tool

by   Jannik Fischbach, et al.
Technische Universität München

Context: Sustainable corporate behavior is increasingly valued by society and impacts corporate reputation and customer trust. Hence, companies regularly publish sustainability reports to shed light on their impact on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Problem: Sustainability reports are written by companies themselves and are therefore considered a company-controlled source. Contrary, studies reveal that non-corporate channels (e.g., media coverage) represent the main driver for ESG transparency. However, analysing media coverage regarding ESG factors is challenging since (1) the amount of published news articles grows daily, (2) media coverage data does not necessarily deal with an ESG-relevant topic, meaning that it must be carefully filtered, and (3) the majority of media coverage data is unstructured. Research Goal: We aim to extract ESG-relevant information from textual media reactions automatically to calculate an ESG score for a given company. Our goal is to reduce the cost of ESG data collection and make ESG information available to the general public. Contribution: Our contributions are three-fold: First, we publish a corpus of 432,411 news headlines annotated as being environmental-, governance-, social-related, or ESG-irrelevant. Second, we present our tool-supported approach called ESG-Miner capable of analyzing and evaluating headlines on corporate ESG-performance automatically. Third, we demonstrate the feasibility of our approach in an experiment and apply the ESG-Miner on 3000 manually labeled headlines. Our approach processes 96.7 correctly and shows a great performance in detecting environmental-related headlines along with their correct sentiment. We encourage fellow researchers and practitioners to use the ESG-Miner at


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