The News: Amazon announced this week that access to the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) dataset is now available at no cost on the AWS cloud. The dataset will help companies and asset managers who are looking to protect their financial investments from climate-change related risks. Read the full blog announcement from AWS here.
Amazon Provides Free Access to Legal Entity Identifier Dataset on the AWS Cloud to Help Businesses Protect Investments from Climate-change Related Risks
Analyst Take: With the announcement around making access to the Legal Entity Identifier dataset available at no cost on the AWS cloud, Amazon continues to reaffirm its commitment to sustainability for the future. The result of a collaboration between Amazon’s Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI), the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) and OS-Climate, this is exciting news. The Legal Entity Identifier dataset, which will be available on the ASDI’s open source platform, is designed to help any organization make easier decisions related to environmentally friendly investments. While Amazon’s well reputed Climate Pledge has been an attractive program gaining the support of hundreds of leading global enterprises, the company is also working on building data-driven solutions to help customers more clearly measure risk and investments being put into climate-change activities.
The dataset will include clear reference information about the organizations involved in financial transactions, with details on ownership structure including a ‘who is who’ and ‘who owns whom.’ By making the dataset readily available on an open-source platform, Amazon is spurring the development of open source analytics for climate risk management and climate aligned investing. What is becoming well understood is that better, more tangible results in organizational efforts to be carbon neutral require readily available, clean data, for tracking, tracing, and accountability.
Improving Trust and Accountability in the Global Sustainability Ecosystem
Organizations across the globe are making pledges to improve sustainability, cut carbon emissions and undertake other initiatives designed to protect our planet. That said, they cynic in me realizes that there’s no small amount of greenwashing happening on this front as brands the world over want to appear to embrace environmentally focused initiatives for use in marketing and messaging efforts. Today, ESG efforts are big business, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
That’s why I’m bullish on this announcement from Amazon around the Legal Entity Dataset and its availability on the AWS cloud. And the fact that it’s free makes this an absolute no-brainer for organizations to make immediate use of.
What has largely been missing is any kind of real accountability as it relates to ESG initiatives. And that is what GLEIF and ASDI are looking to ameliorate with the LEI dataset. In short, this solution can help mitigate or completely remove greenwashing and we can collectively start seeing provable, data driven outcomes that show companies are delivering on their promises. I have long been advocating for this, and it will take significant complexity and the deployment of well-designed technology to accomplish this goal.
The Future of Environmentally Responsible Investments
Amazon has been consistently at the forefront of the climate change discussion, and as we are looking for technology to help solve the challenges of moving from philosophical and subjective ESG efforts to more of a tangible, measurable set of outcome driven data points, Amazon providing free access to Legal Entity Identifier dataset on the AWS cloud appears to have the potential to enable these efforts.
Collaboration among business community members, data suppliers, and customers means that organizations will be able to make more informed decisions around climate-related investment risks, like determining if the climate change could have an impact on a business asset. The hope of this partnership is that organizations would be able to drive more innovations, gain better insight, and help the planet. A win-win all the way around.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.