Introducing Util

 
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Util is an Oxford based financial technology company seeking to develop a new bottom line for investors who want to maximise both financial and non-financial returns on investment. Our team shares the belief that the investment community has the potential to radically impact some of the biggest challenges facing our people and planet. However, we acknowledge that investment managers do not have the right toolkit of data and analytics to direct capital to those companies that contribute significantly to solving these global challenges.

To this end, the team at Util is developing a methodology that aggregates company performance metrics from a wide range of different sources and stakeholders. We gather and analyse data relating specifically to a company’s impact across the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. To give a few examples:

  • We gather data on company training and development, including amount spent and hours dedicated to training to arrive at a dollar value aligned to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), #8, Decent Work and Economic Growth;
  • We gather data on a company’s scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions, applying a social cost of carbon to arrive at a dollar value aligned negatively to SDG #13, Climate Action;
  • We have built a series of machine learning models that derive the additional economic value associated with a company’s products and services. For example, a healthcare company will create value as its sells its products, aligned to SDG 3, Good Health and Well-being. Conversely, a tobacco company will destroy value for the same SDG resulting from revenue generated through tobacco sales.

By using our new bottom line analysis, investors and companies can assess their holistic performance, in dollar terms, across time periods and peer groups. Beyond a new bottom line, analysts can dive into company and investment data, understanding how a company contributes to each of the 17 SDGs, broken down by company stakeholders (including employees, community, suppliers and shareholders) and comparable contributing data.

Our intention is to provide the investment community with a new way of comparing, measuring and reporting the performance of their investments. By providing new metrics for investors, we expect more investment decisions to made based on financial and non-financial performance.

We are aware of the challenge facing us and seek partnerships and collaboration across the investment and academic community. If you are interested in working with us as we continue to develop our methodology please get in touch.

 
Stephen Barnett