Information on issues related to environment, society and governance – what’s known in the investment community as “ESG” – is becoming an increasingly important commodity as institutional investors seek data to drive their portfolio decision-making.

The most recent news in that regard is Thomson Reuters’ acquisition of Swiss environmental, social responsibility and governance data provider ASSET4.

“People are increasingly aware that they need to get a good understanding of any factors that could affect either performance or risk,” said Abel Clark, head of strategy for Thomson Reuters’s investment and advisory business. “The plan is to rapidly integrate it into our core financial products.”

Earlier this month, RiskMetrics Group (NYSE: RMG), a leading provider of risk management and corporate governance services to the global financial community, announced its acquisition KLD Research & Analytics, Inc. Headquartered in Boston, KLD was one of the original research firms for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.  It also developed ESG-based indexes for institutional investors.

Financial information provider Bloomberg LP has also launched a new service providing ESG data to mainstream investors.

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