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    Academy News

    Sustainable Procurement with Equinox, Open Data and Open Source

    by Ad Min -
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    Adressing sustainability is a major challenge (and opportunity) facing portfolio managers in diverse domains. If sound financial portfolio (and risk) management was not already enough of a challenge, integrating totally new and diverse data streams about environmental impacts, new objective functions that go beyond monetary measures, new and evolving environmental policies and targets is a major journey that has barely begun.

    Some Academy users might be already familiar with  equinox, our open source sustainable portfolio management platform. In a new series of blog posts we explored how it can be used to support sustainable procurement management. In procurement, the financial portfolio is a collection of contracts where the counterparties are various suppliers of goods, works or services.

    The use case is built around the TED, an Open Data database In the European Union that is the pre-eminent platform collecting data about public procurement. In the first post we explore the overall shape of the dataset which is quite large (over three millions of contracts between 2017-2021)!

    The value distribution of contracts in the TED database

    In the second post we dig deeper into important facets of the data, with the aim of constructing a meaningful economic representation of the public procurement process. Most importantly this involves identifying who is the procurement manager and who are their counterparties. The geographic distribution of contracting entities cover the entire European region (every NUTS3 region)

    Distribution of contracting authorities in Europe

    In the third part of this series we illustrate how one may assign greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to public procurement using environmentally extended input-output models. Public procurement represents final demand of the public sector (which ultimately provides services to households). Towards that end we adopt datasets produced by Eurostat as the basis for the GHG attribution. Specifically, Eurostat produces the statistics with a production and consumption perspective and re-publishes the territorial statistics of the European Environmental Agency (EEA). For this exercise we utilized emissions intensity estimates.  As outcome we can generate a variety of reports and visualizations, such as a sector-by-country grid of attributed emissions:

    A tabular representation of procurement emissions by sector and country

    Finally, we conclude the discussion with an overview of the conceptual data models involved and future applications that may involve additional geospatial data linked to emissions sources.


    Visual representation of hypothetical emissions sources on a map

    EU Datathon 2022 preselection for the Equinox platform

    by Ad Min -
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    We are very happy to announce that our EU Datathon 2022 proposal based on the Equinox platform has been pre-selected to enter the formal stage of the competition

    The EU Datathon is an annual Open Data competition organised by the Publications Office of the European Union since 2017. The competitions are organised to create new value for citizens through innovation and promoting the use of open data, in particular the datasets available on the official portal for European data

    As Open Risk we submitted a proposal under Challenge 2 (Transparency in Public Procurement) that aims to integrate the rich dataset of the TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) dedicated to European public procurement into Equinox, thereby offering an innovative and powerful platform that supports green public procurement using the full machinery of Sustainable Portfolio Management.

    We are very happy to announce that the proposal has been pre-selected to enter the formal stage of the competition!

    A slide including the teams and proposals that were preselected by the EU Publications office to take part in the EU Datathon

    Are you interested in topics around sustainable finance and portfolio management? Your feedback, ideas and contributions, whether technical or non-technical are welcome for example:

    Interest to learn more about these topics?

    Sustainable Finance Topic Taxonomies

    by Ad Min -
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    The Open Risk Manual contains now quite a number of topics related to sustainable finance. The related category page has been augmented to organize them in a logical manner: There are two main schemes (arranged as matrices):

    • Grouping of concepts by economic entity (agent) and their financial activities (e.g. individuals, corporates and their typical respective economic activity that are affected by sustainability)
    • Grouping of concepts by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the available tools such as information technology, policies etc
    Snapshot of an Open Risk Manual table organizing various sustainable finance concepts
    As with all entries of the Manual, this is a live page that continues being updated. Suggestions always welcome!

    Earth Day 2022

    by Ad Min -
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    Earth Day is a moment to contemplate the sustainability challenges facing us all, to think seriously about how to take further real action on climate and biodiversity, how to preserve and collectively thrive on the surface of this unique and incredible but finite and fragile planet we live on.

    The Earth Day 2022 Theme is Invest In Our Planet, which alludes to how vitally important the invention, adoption and deployment of meaningful, effective economic and financail tools that ensure sustainability.

    Along with many others we feel blessed to be able to make a small contribution in the direction of sustainable finance: another major release of the Equinox Platform, a framework dedicated to sustainable portfolio management.

    This release focuses primarily on introducing tools for the management of procurement portfolios and portfolio policies. Anybody interested in learning, using or contributing to the developing toolkit of sustainable portfolio management is encouraged to join us!

    The logo of the equinox platform

    Can accounting ever be sexy? From IFRS 9 to sustainability and the blockchain

    by Ad Min -
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    Accounting probably would not count among the more glamorous of professions. The reasons for that status and whether it is justified are beyond the scope of this brief commentary. What we argue though in this blog post is that the relative attractiveness of accounting is arguably improving in recent times as indicated by developments in quite disparate areas.


    ps. commenting is not possible on the blog but if you have further examples (or counter-examples) you are welcome to join the discussion at the Open Risk Commons

    Financial Competence Framework in Open Risk Manual and Academy

    by Ad Min -
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    Dear Academy users,

    if you are interested in financial competency frameworks (building capabilities and financial literacy) either as a learner or as a teacher, we've got good news! In 2021 the European Commission and the OECD-INFE (OECD International Network for Financial Education) started a collaboration to develop a joint EU/OECD-INFE financial competence frameworks for adults. The framework has been published earlier this year and we have started its integration into various Open Risk resources.

    In the first instance the competence framework is integrated into the Open Risk Manual (here is the landing page) where it provides a taxonomy for classifying entries according to their relevance for financial literacy. In future work we also plan to integrate it here in the Academy where it can be used to good effect to structure learning plans that target this area.

    Any comments, ideas, suggestions as always very welcome. If you have not joined the Open Risk Commons yet please consider doing so as it offers a more convenient platform to exchange ideas and further build out the community.
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