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WEPEX and adesso support AI-based ESG research at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS)

Companies of a certain size must publish an annual sustainability report by 2024 at the latest. The CSRD Directive (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) requires companies to disclose information on compliance with environmental, human, and social rights, as well as governance factors (ESG factors). It is a significant challenge to quickly and easily capture, compare, and thus better utilize the most important information from these complex reports. The problem is that the sustainability reports from companies are very comprehensive and differ greatly in structure. Human readers would need an incredible amount of time to gather the relevant data from the documents and prepare it in a way that it can be easily compared. This is the subject of research at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS), where suitable artificial intelligence (AI) methods are identified to read the reports. Important research questions included how software can penetrate the sometimes convoluted language of the documents and how to read the tables that are differently designed in each report.

The research group will now implement their findings into concrete software solutions together with project partners. The consulting firm WEPEX, along with adesso and the climate data and software provider right. based on science, continue to support the respective AI-supported ESG research at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS). The goal is to develop market-ready products in the form of software solutions for information extraction. WEPEX will finance a student research position at the Frankfurt UAS for this purpose.

'In the sustainability reports of companies, there are valuable figures, such as on environmental factors like CO2 emissions or waste recycling, but also on compliance with human rights and the social standards of a company. This information is essential for many stakeholders. For example, banks need the data when their lending is tied to certain criteria, or investors who want to align with ecological and social standards,' explains Prof. Dr. Martin Simon. He is a professor of Data Science at the Frankfurt UAS and also a member of the scientific advisory board of WEPEX.


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