The COVID Corporate Financing Facility was announced by Rishi Sunak as part of the COVID-19 financial support package for businesses alongside the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Designed to support the largest companies who provide a material benefit to the UK and which were at least investment grade as of 1 March 2020, companies also needed to demonstrate that they were financially sound prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. CCFF is a committed Commercial Paper (CP) purchase facility provided by the Bank of England; companies that operate in the financial sector exclusively are not eligible.
The amounts issued to a company along with the amounts outstanding to the Bank of England is disclosed publicly each week. The issuance is repayable over a one year period with a discount of effectively 0.2%, 0.4% or 0.6% depending on the short term rating of the company. If the company doesn’t repay the issuance on time they will need to provide a letter ‘showing restraint’ on paying dividends and other capital distributions and on senior pay. You can read more about CCFF directly from the Bank of England's website.
What have we done with the CCFF data?
We matched this public disclosure with the sustainability data generated using our own proprietary software, verified by our analysts to provide a complete disclosure, including up to date stock and financial statistics both provided from trusted 3rd party sources at Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, Companies House (GOV.UK), Endole, Standard & Poor's, World Benchmarking Alliance and Trading View.
This has resulted in the creation of the AG data card. Each card is designed to provide a visual representation of a company's CCFF issuance, financial, environmental and social public disclosure. Think of it as ‘Top Trumps card game’ but for company disclosure.
As these companies are utilising public funding we felt that it was important to highlight their financial and sustainability reporting. As we move towards building a greener, more sustainable future economy we wanted to highlight how our biggest companies are disclosing their commitment to creating a more resilient economy. We are working closely with financial institutions, researchers and academics to encourage companies using public funds to provide full disclosure.
The study was originally designed to provide an outline of the disclosure landscape. This was backed by our wider effort to increase transparency and encourage greater accountability. Companies who provide full financial and ethical disclosure are signified with the green line. We hope to be adding the green line to all the companies who have been issued CP via the CCFF scheme in the coming weeks and months.
How can I use the study?
We encourage the use of our research in the creation of news reports, research publications and content across the social media landscape. In addition, our PRO access plan is a great tool for investors, analysts and risk managers who require detailed and accurate data. Our research aims to inspire informed debate and kick start our efforts to build back better in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our CEO and founder, Alexander said “If we are to achieve our ambitions of creating a sustainable economy, we need our best minds working on the problem and they need access to the information that enables them to experiment and create solutions. Full disclosure is a vital part of that.”
How long will the study last?
Our analysts have been tasked to continue researching and analysing the data surrounding the companies with CCFF issued until all the issuance has been repaid, after which, we will continue to track and monitor the sustainability of disclosure of companies around the world. This is just the beginning.
What is currently being disclosed?
We are measuring 74 individual metrics about each company culminating in the delivery of information on general company statistics, financial performance, greenhouse gas carbon emissions (scope 1 and scope 2), direct energy consumption, direct water consumption, total waste and recycled waste. All environmental indicators are measured from location based data where possible.
General company statistics and financial performance are provided by 3rd parties and verified by our team of analysts.
Sustainability data is curated using our proprietary software using machine learning and artificial intelligence to pinpoint the source of the data within publicly disclosed documentation before it is analysed and converted into comparable units of measurement.
This enables us to provide differential values for the 2018 and 2019 financial year of reporting so that, from a glance, each company's performance in any individual or set of metrics can be reviewed.
We recognise that this means that the CP issued to companies has taken place after their reporting period on the environment. Our study is going to continue throughout the next reporting period and will include the 2020 reporting data once it becomes available. We hope to highlight the improved ethical performance of the companies who have been issued CP through the CCFF and will provide insights and analysis as the wider data emerges.
We have also incorporated social disclosure into our study. This highlights board diversity, average employee total, alignment to the SDGs and alignment to standards, regulations and initiatives. We are also tracking large scale redundancies and taxation information as part of our insights. We aligned the SDGs to companies utilizing the World Benchmarking Alliance SDG to industry map. The map connects SDGs deemed directly relevant to specific industries using the MSCI Global Industry Classification Standard. This enabled us to match companies to their correct GICS and therefore assign the matching SDGs. If the company provided disclosure on projects or operations that specifically and directly linked their impact to the goals we have linked that activity to the goal on the card. Where companies have not linked activity to the goals the goal is still present on the card, but it is faded out. We have also recognised the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and listed whether a company has achieved A, B, C, D or F for carbon, forestry and water.
The remaining 3 badges, display whether the company has compiled a GRI report, are a participant of the UN Global Compact or have committed to Science Based Targets. Further, more detailed information on these standards can be found in the PRO access plan.
Why did we select these metrics?
It was important to our team to ensure that the brands were easily recognisable and that the companies who have exercised CP from the CCFF scheme could be quickly found. From this point, we wanted to highlight the CCFF issuance values and align it to the company's financial performance. If the company is publicly traded we have used stock market performance data in addition to revenue, net income and debt to assets amongst other metrics.
We choose to focus on 4 key environmental aspects, whilst not an exhaustive approach to the environmental sustainability of these companies, we choose carbon emissions, energy, water and waste as prevailing headlines. Each organisation’s carbon emissions data is calculated by combining their scope 1 and scope 2 totals where they have been published whilst also providing the differential between the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 financial year totals by percentage. The same differential percentage is available for total energy consumption, total water consumption, total waste produced and the amount of waste recycled.
Crucially we aren’t suggesting that increasing the amount of waste sent to be recycled as the way forwards, in fact, reducing total waste and reducing the amount of hazardous waste are just as important as reducing what amount of waste goes to landfill. Equally, there are many strategies for improving waste management towards an equitable circular economy. In our data, we selected recycling as it is a readily available metric.
Our social card highlights gender diversity at the board by percentage and includes whether the company has increased or decreased gender diversity across the two reporting years. In the top right corner of the board diversity card we have included which financial year the data is for and in the top left corner whether the company has increased or decreased diversity by percentage. The social cards also include the average number of employees at the company over the latest reporting period. A red down arrow is placed next to these figures if the company has announced plans for large scale redundancies in the next reporting period. Detailed information, including sources and specific job redundancies numbers can be found inside the PRO access. We wanted to highlight these two areas due to their relationship with good governance and social responsibility.
We also recognise that some companies have grown and scaled up their operations which means that they may have used more resources to do so. This is why we have provided comparative financial and when available company statistics for the same period. Links back to the original source documentation and public disclosure content is available for every item of data on our cards and via PRO access.
What is PRO access?
For academics, journalists, writers, influencers, investors, analysts and leaders around the world, we have created PRO, providing comprehensive access to the entire raw dataset produced directly from our central repository updated by our analysts in real time. This enables you to generate your own datasets for research, content creation and more, we’re really excited to see what you can come up with. Special PRO features to our CCFF study include:
- - Access all filters to create your own data tables
- - Compare performance side by side
- - Export custom tables
- - Receive live and up to the minute updates
- - Read custom detailed insights from our analysts and the community
For companies listed on the dataset, we provide a contribute facility that enables you to add data to our system for public disclosure.
Content created using our study must be attributed to AG including a link to our website as a reference source. All publicly distributed content you create is listed for other PRO access members to read increasing your coverage to other sustainability experts in the process.
If you are interested please contact us for access.
Can I sponsor the study?
Yes, whilst we won’t display any adverts, we are open to working with sponsors who wish to support our study. You can contact our CCFF study team here for more information about sponsorship rates.
We have exciting plans ahead for the study including a raft of thought-provoking articles and increased depth and detail of data too. We will post updates regularly, below is a basic timeline of what has happened so far.
- 4th June - CCFF First dataset issued by the Bank of England
- 5th June - AG Launches CCFF data cards
- 9th June - AG adds detailed sustainability data
- 10th June - AG adds live financial data
- 11th June - AG opens the study for re-distribution
- 11th June - CCFF Second dataset issued by the Bank of England
- 12th June - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 16th June - AG adds job redundacies data to PRO Access
- 16th June - AG adds list of possible future organisations to PRO Access
- 19th June - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 24th June - AG adds detailed social data
- 25th June - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 2nd July - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 8th July - AG adds lobbying data to PRO Access
- 9th July - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 16th July - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 23rd July - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 24th July - AG adds salary bandings data for housing associations to PRO Access
- 30th July - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 6th August - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
- 6th August - AG adds annual comparision of carbon emissions to revenue via PRO Access
- 13th August - Latest CCFF data added to the cards
You asked, we listened. By popular demand we have included where available publicly disclosed company credit ratings from Standard & Poor's.
As a prerequisite in order to access the CCFF, companies are required to be of investment grade and where available, a credit rating of A-3 / P-3 / F-3 / R3 from at least one of Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch and DBRS Morningstar as at 1 March 2020. We have included these tables below to the long term and short term credit ratings issued by Standard & Poor's.
|Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings*|
|AAA||An obligation rated 'AAA' has the highest rating assigned by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is extremely strong.|
|AA||An obligation rated 'AA' differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is very strong.|
|A||An obligation rated 'A' is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is still strong.|
|BBB||An obligation rated 'BBB' exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.|
|BB, B, CCC, CC, and C||Obligations rated 'BB', 'B', 'CCC', 'CC', and 'C' are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. 'BB' indicates the least degree of speculation and 'C' the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposure to adverse conditions.|
|BB||An obligation rated 'BB' is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.|
|B||An obligation rated 'B' is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated 'BB', but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor's capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.|
|CCC||An obligation rated 'CCC' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.|
|CC||An obligation rated 'CC' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The 'CC' rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P Global Ratings expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.|
|C||An obligation rated 'C' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared with obligations that are rated higher.|
|D||An obligation rated 'D' is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. A rating on an obligation is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.|
|Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings|
|A-1||A short-term obligation rated 'A-1' is rated in the highest category by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on these obligations is extremely strong.|
|A-2||A short-term obligation rated 'A-2' is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is satisfactory.|
|A-3||A short-term obligation rated 'A-3' exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken an obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.|
|B||A short-term obligation rated 'B' is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.|
|C||A short-term obligation rated 'C' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.|
|D||A short-term obligation rated 'D' is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. A rating on an obligation is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.|