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How LEI datasets can enhance global sustainability initiatives and climate-aligned finance

During COP26, GLEIF announced a partnership with Amazon and OS-Climate to add LEI datasets to Amazon’s Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) open-data catalog. The goal? To drive broader and faster development of climate-aligned financial applications. We have since caught up with Ana Pinheiro Privette, Global Lead for ASDI, to discuss how the partnership is working to improve global sustainability data modelling, mapping and calculations, and the expected impact on climate finance risk and opportunity evaluations.

Author: Ana Pinheiro Privette

  • Date: 2022-01-13
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Can you briefly describe the goal of the ASDI and your role within it?

Data is core to addressing the climate crisis, but too much of the required data is dispersed in different sources, available in different formats, exposed through different tools, and requires different levels of technical expertise to analyze it. All of these factors present challenges to analyzing sustainability data efficiently and effectively extracting the knowledge from it that drives decisions and policy.

The Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) is a tech-for-good program that seeks to significantly reduce the cost, time and technical barriers associated with analyzing large datasets to generate sustainability insights. One of our core efforts is around democratization of data, making foundational datasets available to anyone, powered by the Amazon Web Services cloud. ASDI supports innovators and researchers around the world by providing them with the data, tools and technical expertise they need to move sustainability research and analysis to the next level.

Why has ASDI partnered with GLEIF and OS-Climate, and what role does ASDI play in the partnership?

This collaboration is a wonderful example of how ASDI can help complement the work of other key players in the climate space. The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) data is critical to helping businesses assess the climate change-related risks of their investments. Having this type of information next to other foundational datasets in the cloud, together with access to computational capabilities, can help us streamline the risk assessment process.

In this collaboration, GLEIF retains complete control and ownership of the data in the AWS cloud, but all costs related to data storage and egress are covered by the ASDI program. GLEIF commits to managing the data and also making it openly available to anyone. Groups like OS-Climate, Allianz and BNP Paribas are then able to access the LEI dataset on the AWS cloud and use it more effectively to get better insights into the transitional and physical climate risks of their financial investments.

What is the benefit of having LEI datasets publicly available in the cloud via ASDI’s data catalog?

By storing climate-related datasets in the cloud, we are accelerating innovation by minimizing the cost and time required to acquire and analyze these datasets, some of which are in the terabyte and petabyte scale and otherwise not accessible to most. The LEI data is collocated with petabytes of these foundational data assets and can more easily be integrated in the analysis process. Other datasets available to users include climate projections, historical weather records, satellite observations and more.

ASDI continues to expand its data catalog in response to the needs of the sustainability community. By hosting the LEI data on AWS and creating a direct connection between GLEIF’s servers and the AWS S3 bucket, we are able to provide LEI updates every eight hours, making this piece of information available to anyone around the world in a timely manner.

How can verifiable identities enhance global sustainability data and improve the evaluation of climate finance risk and opportunities?

LEIs connect to key reference information that enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in transactions. Each LEI contains information about an entity’s ownership structure and thus answers the questions of 'who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’. This enhances transparency in the global marketplace and allows investors to more easily assess how responsible, from a sustainability perspective, different assets in a given portfolio are. By expanding access to this dataset, businesses and entities around the world can more easily make better-informed decisions about their investments.

How will the partnership accelerate research and innovation for sustainability and climate-aligned finance?

Removing barriers to access and use of foundational datasets will minimize the time and effort associated with its analysis, and accelerate data-to-knowledge pathways. For example, financial services company Allianz is specifically using LEI data to help predict the impact climate change may have on the insurance business, and to help expand the company’s asset management portfolio to include more environmentally friendly and sustainable projects and causes. BNP Paribas, as another example, is using the data to build an open-source entity-matching service which will greatly democratize the creation of climate-aligned analysis.

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About the author:

Dr. Ana Pinheiro Privette is a senior program manager with Amazon's Sustainability group and she is the Global Lead for the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI), a Tech-for-Good program that seeks to leverage Amazon’s scale, technology and infrastructure to help create global innovation for sustainability. Ana was trained as an environmental engineer and as an earth scientist at the New University of Lisbon (Portugal) and at MIT. She spent most of her career as a research scientist at NASA and NOAA. Later, Ana worked on the US National Climate Assessment (NCA) focusing on bringing more transparency and traceability to the data sources supporting this climate report, and led projects for the White House climate portfolio, including President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative (CDI) and Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP).

Tags for this article:
Data Management, Data Quality, GLEIF Services, Global LEI Index, Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), LEI Mapping, Open Data