AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS hosts new open dataset to help businesses identify climate finance risks and investments

Companies and asset managers looking to protect their financial investments from climate change-related risks, and invest in more sustainable solutions, can now access a new dataset on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud to help inform their decision making.

Amazon is announcing today that the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) dataset is now available at no cost for anyone to access in the cloud. The LEI dataset is the result of a collaboration between Amazon’s Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI), the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), and OS-Climate, an initiative led by technology and financial services companies that seeks to shift global investments toward net-zero carbon. The dataset is being provided by GLEIF, and includes key reference information that enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions. Each LEI contains information about an entity’s ownership structure, including ‘who is who’ and ‘who owns whom’.

The availability of LEI data on ASDI’s open-source platform will support the development of open data and open-source analytics for climate risk management and climate-aligned finance and investing. This is because ASDI’s purpose is to accelerate innovation in sustainability research by minimizing the cost and time required to acquire and analyze large datasets.

“Access to timely and authoritative data is critical to measure progress toward our goal of a net-zero carbon future. By making LEI data available next to other important data assets like carbon emissions and climate projections, we can more easily streamline processes to support environmentally-friendly investments and sustainable financial decisions,” said Ana Pinheiro Privette, lead for ASDI. “We hope that removing barriers to accessing and analyzing critical data will lead to faster innovation and more problem solving.”

The LEI data access is managed by GLEIF, which updates the AWS record every eight hours. Costs for data storage and egress are covered by the ASDI program, which seeks to accelerate sustainability research and innovation by minimizing the cost and time required to acquire and analyze large sustainability datasets.

The LEI data on AWS is collocated with petabytes of foundational data assets in the AWS Cloud, including climate projections (e.g., CMIP6), historical weather records (e.g., NOAA GFS), satellite observations (e.g., ESA Sentinel), among many others. ASDI continues to expand its data catalog in response to the needs of the sustainability community.

“The availability of LEI data in ASDI increases the potential for transparency and enormous efficiencies throughout the global sustainability ecosystem,” said Stephan Wolf, GLEIF chief executive officer (CEO). “By easing access to LEI data within the context of sustainability research and data aggregation, GLEIF hopes to extend the many trust and accountability benefits delivered by the LEI to a much broader audience of stakeholders who are taking an active interest in protecting our planet. We welcome this collaboration with ASDI and OS-Climate and hope it will be a catalyst for innovative LEI use in sustainability initiatives of the future, bringing with it the opportunity for LEIs to further their influence as a tool of broad public good.”

The LEI information in particular is critical to assess the climate-related risks for asset portfolios in the financial and investment sectors, an effort that OS-Climate is trying to tackle. A Linux Foundation project, OS-Climate is building an open source platform for climate risk assessment, in collaboration with key technology and financial services companies. The platform seeks to help shift global investment toward net-zero carbon by providing global data resource to advance state of the art climate-aligned finance, while significantly cutting the costs of managing the data.

As a founding member of OS-Climate, Amazon has committed through ASDI to support the project with improved access to key data on the AWS Cloud, and provide access to computational resources and expertise. OS-Climate is already leveraging the LEI data staged on AWS to give its members better insights into the transitional and physical climate risks of financial investments.

“The world of corporate identities and relationships is dynamic and complex. One of the key goals of the OS-Climate project is to create a ‘one-stop shop’ for data and analytics tools to enable breakthrough innovations in the area of climate-aligned finance,” said Michael Tiemann, OS-Climate project lead. “The LEI provides OS-Climate with an elegant and powerful architectural solution to this very challenging problem, and the programmatic availability of the dataset on ASDI simplifies our own data management and platform services model greatly.”

Within OS-Climate’s membership, financial services company Allianz is specifically using the data to help predict the impact climate change may have on its insurance business, and to help expand the company’s asset management portfolio to invest in more environmentally friendly and sustainable projects and causes.

Another member company, French banking group BNP Paribas, is using the data to building an open source entity-matching service, which will greatly democratize the creation of climate-aligned analysis.

In the future, the collaboration will help the wider business community, including data suppliers and their customers, software providers, vendors, and financial technology (FinTech) organizations make more informed decisions around climate finance, allowing them to cut costs, simplify and accelerate operations and gain deeper insight into the global market place.

Access the LEI dataset here.

Discover how AWS customers are building in the cloud to innovate, expedite, and scale real-world sustainability solutions in the Sustainability Customer Stories hub, and check out more sustainability resources on the blog.

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