Last week Fast Company ran an article on why Bloomberg got into the business of measuring other companies’ corporate responsibility performance. In 2006 sustainability director Curtis Ravenel launched an initiative to green Bloomberg’s operations. At the same time, he began to wonder how other businesses measure their non-financial impacts on society and in turn if they reported these impacts.

Soon after this thought he found himself browsing corporate responsibility and sustainability reports by firms that not only classified themselves as ‘green’, but catered to socially responsible investors. And shortly after this the light bulb went off. He asked his colleagues if Bloomberg collected non-financial data on its clients; the answer was no.

Ravenel knew that European companies had been pushing this for years, but admitted that it never really caught on in the states – mainly because it “never made it up to C-level”. This missed opportunity had motivated Ravenel to expand financial analysis to include environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts. Historically ESG data was never factored into investment decisions, and was considered ‘extra financial data’.

Most are under the assumption that ESG impacts pertain just to the social aspect of a business. But its proponents are just as concerned about profits as any company in the U.S. Further, there’s increasing evidence that companies who take ESG impacts into account are forward-thinking and well-managed, making them highly attractive to investors.

It’s believed that the biggest indicator in ESG analysis right now is environmental, because it’s easy to quantify (specifically carbon footprint). Recent EPA rules regulate CO2, which affects everyone’s bottom line. Ravenel used this argument to persuade Bloomberg to add ESG data to its terminals. And investors are using it. Recently, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse launched internal divisions to analyze ESG data from Bloomberg and its competitors.

Adam Kanzer, managing director of Domini Social Investments was quoted as saying: “Every Wall Street analyst has a Bloomberg and looks at it every day. Analysts are going to say, “If Bloomberg thinks this is important, maybe I ought to be paying attention.”

Well – should you be paying attention? And are you paying attention?