Toronto-based company Manifest Climate wants to change how corporations’ climate disclosures are processed and shared. The company, founded by Laura Zizzo, who is now chief executive officer (CEO), aims to provide decision-makers in the capital markets with better information to scale climate resilience globally.
Manifest Climate’s software uses AI to extract and analyze critical data from public company disclosures. By examining approximately 200 data points per company, the software offers insights into board and management team perspectives on climate change, risk management practices, and strategy development.
“We hired some product and data science folks that actually created a model out of the work we were doing,” Zizzo said. “So what used to take individuals around 30 hours per company, this AI software “can go out and do this pretty much instantaneously.”
One of the primary uses for Manifest Climate’s software, she noted, is assisting companies with compliance and disclosure requirements. Publicly traded companies must disclose climate-related information, aligning their disclosures with regulatory expectations, investor inquiries, and industry benchmarks. Manifest Climate’s software performs a gap analysis, helping companies understand where they stand relative to their peers and identifying areas for improvement.
“I’m super excited about it, [companies] can be inspired by the things their peers are doing,” Zizzo said. “So we show everyone best practices. Like for instance, a really great executive strategy, linking executive compensation to climate targets— how would a company do that? They’re talking about it, in their disclosure. So instead of trying to make it up, just go and try to do some research on what other people are doing, and do it better.”
The data gleaned from public company disclosures also serves as a resource for investors, she added. The software allows investors to make informed decisions by leveraging the insights gained from analyzing climate-related information. For instance, utility companies can use this data to develop greener products tailored to the needs of large consumers who prioritize sustainable options.
With the goal to scale climate resilience globally, Zizzo hopes the company can expand beyond North America. The company already has a presence in the United States, with an office in New York and clients nationwide. The software uses the Climate-related Financial Disclosures framework, a task force that aims to provide companies with recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures.
Zizzo said that Manifest Climate’s software aligns with the increasing financial regulation and expectations around climate-related disclosures. As climate action transitions from a mere brochure topic to a core financial disclosure, she said, companies must substantiate their claims and prove their credibility; the software allows companies to demonstrate consistency between their internal actions and external messaging, bridging the gap between ambition and action.