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March 20, 2018 8:00 AM Age: 304 days
FLASH REPORT: 85% of S&P 500 Index® Companies Publish Sustainability Reports in 2017Category: AC GAI Billboard, AC Alerts, AC RSS Feeds, CSR News, CSR Research & Insights, SRI Research & Insights, SRI News, AM Highlights, AM Highlighted Research / Papers, ESG Highlighted Research / Papers
Source: Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
New York, New York — March 20, 2018 — The Governance & Accountability (G&A) Institute research team has found that eighty-five percent (85%) of the companies in the S&P 500 Index® published sustainability or corporate responsibility reports in 2017.
This endeavor marks G&A Institute’s seventh annual monitoring and analysis of sustainability reporting in the S&P 500 Index®, one of the most widely-recognized barometers of the US economy and conditions for large-cap public companies in the capital markets. In charting reporting performance in prior years, G&A researchers found that:
"The proliferation of ESG data providers, rankers, and raters has also matured alongside the demand from investors, and more disclosure from companies. In addition, globally-accepted reporting standards continue to evolve as the entire field matures and advances, following a similar path to the development of standardized financial disclosure in the first half of the 1900's.
"As someone who has worked on ESG issues their entire professional career, this is personally a very exciting time to be advising leading companies and investors on how to navigate this field. While our study shows there are still holdouts not reporting, the number steadily shrinks each year as an increasing number of stakeholders including customers, employees, investors, local communities, and others demand consideration of ESG in companies’ missions, strategies and operations."
Hank Boerner, , Chairman & Co-Founder of the Institute, observed: "We live in a period of conflicting views on critical issues, like the effects of climate change, the societal quest for greater diversity and inclusion, the importance of demonstrating environmental stewardship, the rising expectations for greater accountability of leadership and expectations related to product responsibility.
“It should be very encouraging to all stakeholders that the largest publicly-traded companies in the US clearly recognize their societal responsibilities and strive to develop strategies, fine-tune their programs, engage with their stakeholders, improve their overall ESG performance, and enhance their disclosure by publishing sustainability/responsibility/citizenship reports.
“The actions of the super-majority of the S&P 500 are especially encouraging in the wake of the decision of the current administration to begin the retreat on addressing climate change, reduce environmental protection measures, and ignore other important 21st century measures of national progress. It is clear that the leaders of corporate America are acknowledging the realities of these challenges as they maintain a steady course toward greater corporate sustainability and the protection of the global society.”
THE DIMINISHING NON-REPORTERS AMONG US CORPORATES
G&A Institute is the Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the US, UK, and Republic of Ireland. The G&A team performs this pro bono work on behalf of GRI. Over more than seven years, G&A has analyzed more than 6,000 sustainability reports and catalogued hundreds of important data points for these reports.
G&A’s sustainability-focused consulting and advisory services fall into three main pillars: (1) Sustainability/ESG Consulting; (2) Communications and Recognitions, and (3) Investor / Capital Markets Relations. The resources available within each category include sustainability/CSR reporting assistance; materiality assessments; stakeholder engagement; strategy setting; ESG survey responses; ESG benchmarking; investor ESG data review & enhancement; investor relations ESG programs; investor engagement; sustainability communications; manager coaching; team building; training; advice on third-party awards, recognition, and index inclusions; ESG issues monitoring and customized research.
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