Who is imug?

In 1995, imug consultancy emerged from the imug institute of the University of Hanover. To date, almost 40 employees provide consultancy and research services in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), market research and marketing.
The Sustainable Investment Division focuses on research analysis for funds that invest in companies with a particular social and environmental performance. In this regard, our customized systems of research criteria enable us to effectively meet customer needs and differentiate us from others.
Furthermore, we provide market research and communication projects in order to comprehensively address SRI issues.

Further information on our projects and clients can be found on our website.


Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any questions you might have:

Axel Wilhelm

Head imug rating

Axel Wilhelm


Imke Mahlmann

imug rating. Senior Sustainability Analyst


Since 1998, imug cooperates with EIRIS, a worldwide leading provider of company ratings along social, environmental and ethical criteria. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, imug conducts research against the criteria system developed by EIRIS. A total of 60 analysts from various academic backgrounds and experiences worldwide are working on the rating of companies.
Established by the EIRIS Foundation, EIRIS is one of the global leaders in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis of companies and states. With over 30 years of experience in the field of extra-financial research and the development of strategies for responsible investment, EIRIS today works with more than 200 asset managers and institutional investors worldwide.
EIRIS offers data that can be integrated into investor analysis processes in a simple and flexible manner offering real expertise on ESG issues that allows investors to understand and identify where the greatest risk lies and which companies are best responding to financially material sustainability challenges.
Based in London with offices in Paris and Washington DC, EIRIS offers a wide range of material environmental, social and governance criteria. Their analysis of over  3000 companies worldwide is available though a cutting edge online tool, the EIRIS Global Platform (or EGP) which allows customers to either utilize a default Sustainability Rating or to customize the analysis to meet their individual approach to responsible investment. EIRIS’s research corresponds to the strictest quality standards and has been certified to the independent ARISTA® standard since 2009, the leading quality standard for research in responsible investment.
Founded in 2002 by Nicole Notat, Vigeo is a European expert in analysing the responsibility of organisations in terms of Environmental, Social and Governance factors. Vigeo’s evaluation framework is based around six pillars of analysis; business behaviour, human rights, community involvement, environment, corporate governance and human resources.
Vigeo offers two types of service through two business units:
Vigeo rating – the way to responsible investment – offers a large range of products and services designed for investors and asset managers engaged in sustainable and responsible investment practices. Vigeo rating analyses over 3000 issuers, companies, local authorities and states included.
Vigeo enterprise – the way to responsible management – works with organizations of all sizes, from all sectors, public and private to support teams in the integration of ESG criteria into their business functions and strategic operations.
Vigeo’s research corresponds to the strictest quality standards and has been certified to the independent ARISTA® standard since 2009, the leading quality standard for research in responsible investment.
Vigeo is present in Paris, Casablanca, Brussels, Milan, London, Tokyo, Montreal and Santiago-Chile has over 120 employees.
In autumn 2015, EIRIS and Vigeo announced the merger of the two entities. Both agencies are leaders in their markets with strong potential for further growth. The two agencies will build upon their reputations and strong brand names, as well as on their skills that have produced innovative methodologies and technologies.  With a team of 180 employees, the new entity will analyse up to 10,000 issuers. The pooling of their resources and tools will further broaden the coverage of issuers rated on an annual basis to better serve the growing needs of their clients.
Based on methodologies that are synergetic and complementary, Vigeo – EIRIS will offer a wide product suite tailored to the needs of a range of global investors.
The reach of this new player, present from North America to Australia,  Europe to South Korea, will allow it to play a leading role in promoting relations between issuers and investors going forward
The sustainability rating on behalf of the FairWorldFonds is independently conducted by imug. Hence, it may be that you will receive a survey from Vigeo-Eiris following the previously mentioned rating process, as well as an additional separate survey from imug (only for companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland). These processes will be further integrated in due course.

The FairWorldFonds has been launched in 2010 and is targeted at private and institutional investors. The fund is focusing on “development, international justice and sustainability” and applies a very strict set of criteria that is guided by a development perspective for all the covered asset classes. By defining such a set of criteria, development criteria have been introduced into ethical investment.

For equity investments the fund initiators are seeking to identify companies that actively take up their responsibility in developing and newly industrialized markets and whose activities are better compatible with the goal of development, justice and sustainability worldwide than those of many other actors.

Therefore, imug researches companies that either operate in one or more developing or newly industrialized countries or sell products that are (or might be) capable of stimulating development and poverty reduction. Thus, imug investigates the direct and indirect effects of company activities in developing and newly industrialized countries.

imug is continuously rating new companies that might be suitable titles for investment by the FairWorldFonds. Only companies that fulfill all fund criteria are considered as suitable titles. While imug is narrowing down the choice of titles, the Ethics Committee and the fund manager decide in which of these preselected titles the fund invests. The Ethics Committee is composed of renowned development and financial experts.

Once a company is considered as suitable title, an update of the rating is conducted every two years. Furthermore imug conducts a daily monitoring of all invested titles in order to be aware of actual controversial incidents. In case of a major incident which breaches the fund criteria a divest-decision can be taken by the funds Ethics Committee at any time of the year.

We generally accept sections in the survey or otherwise submitted information that is clearly marked as “confidential”. Moreover, we do not transmit any internal documents such as employee handbooks or management manuals to third parties. We evaluate these documents and provide an overall assessment. Afterwards all documents are archived and only accessible for our analysts. Any modifications to the above can be discussed on an individual basis and we are happy to provide you with a standardized confidentiality agreement upon request.

Important: Since 2014, we can offer a save data room where all documents that are supposed to be submitted to us can be transmitted safely. For further Information on this please directly contact your responsible analyst.

We conduct our ratings on the basis of various sources (annual reports, sustainability reports, company website, expert opinions, media and internet research, survey etc.). Thus, the survey offers you the possibility to provide more detailed information on key issues. This can lead to a better rating based on better insight into company data. If the survey is not completed, we will only use publicly available information.