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Using Stardog and Knowledge Graphs for ESG Business Impact Analysis

Andrea Westerinen Jan 12, 2022

Pressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges require data-intensive insights. The ESG market is large and rapidly growing, with sustainable investments growing to more than a third of all global assets, and sweeping environmental regulation being passed world-wide. This confluence of events presents opportunities, and a demand for reliable, insightful data about companies’ performances, and their impact on regional environmental and climate conditions. Amplifying the problem, ESG metrics are usually just a collection of raw, numbers that require study and interpretation with each use.

ESG Impact Knowledge Graph

Data innovations for ESG need to be based on robust, transparent foundations. Knowledge graph technology can be used to provide a rich, contextual view – connecting data from disparate sources and providing backing semantics for the data’s concepts and relationships. Using knowledge graphs, users can gain richer, contextual insights into the problem space and create reusable knowledge.

In order to raise awareness of the use of knowledge graph technology for ESG business planning, the Impact Demo Knowledge Graph was constructed and used in the Hanken Quantum Hackathon 2021. A backing ontology was defined to fuse information about 1900+ companies – including their industries, profits, environmental impacts, and country of headquarters – and relate that with data about their “headquarters” country. The company data provided calculated dollar amounts (in US Dollars) for various types of environmental impacts. This data was extracted (using Python code) from a spreadsheet based on the Harvard study, Corporate Environmental Impact: Measurement, Data and Information. The country data, on the other hand, provided statistics on a country’s electricity production, environmental issues, demographics and many other details. It was assembled by web scraping the pages of the CIA World Factbook.

All the data for the Quantum Hackathon was stored in a Stardog graph database, hosted in the cloud. Each of the 14 Hackathon teams had an account. There were 12 stored SPARQL queries for modification and use by the teams, to ease the learning curve. An overview of the infrastructure (the ontology and data), as well as details on using Stardog Studio and Explorer, were provided via written documentation on GitHub and a video overview.

See Stardog in Action

In order to see Stardog’s value in action … take a look at the video. The Stardog portion of the overview starts at about 19:50 minutes. Let us know if you have any questions or feedback about this use case.

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