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May 16, 2019 10:00 AM Age: 2 yrs
FLASH REPORT: 86% of S&P 500 Index® Companies Publish Sustainability / Responsibility Reports in 2018Category: AC Alerts, AC GAI Billboard, AC RSS Feeds, AC Whats New, CSR News, CSR Research & Insights, ESG Highlights, ESG Highlighted Research / Papers, SRI News, SRI Research & Insights
Source: Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
New York, New York — May 16, 2019 — The Governance & Accountability Institute (G&A) research team determined that eighty-six percent (86%) of the companies in the S&P 500 Index® published sustainability or corporate responsibility reports in the year 2018.
"The announcements from prominent investor services organizations of acquisitions and mergers in the ESG investor rating space is a signal of the demand from their investor clients. In 2019, the influence of the universe of ESG investor data providers, rankers, and raters has never been greater. In response, an increasing number of corporations are now engaging with these organizations to review their corporate ESG data sets, to learn, update and improve their corporate ESG investor profile, strategy and disclosures. This process of increased engagement is rewarding for all -- companies are attracting more long-term patient capital, investors have more decision useful information and the ESG raters and data providers improve the quality and accuracy of their data.
“Our research clearly shows there is a continually shrinking group of reporting holdouts among the S&P 500. Interestingly, when searching for a non-reporters sustainability report, often the first search results are copies of proxy resolutions from investors asking the company to improve ESG disclosure. The pressure is on! There is a lot to lose! Non-reporters are falling further and further behind their competitors every year that they delay.”
Hank Boerner, Chairman & Co-Founder of the Institute, observes: "The original focus of what today is the integrated approach of ESG began with corporate governance -- the ‘G’. Over time that focus expanded to include environmental management and a range of social or societal issues. Today, the trend is for the investor to examine the financials, and traditional corporate governance issues as well as the governance of the ‘E’ and ‘S’ in terms of strategy, actions and outcomes. The ‘G’ focus conveys the importance of leading from the top, the board room and C-suite on ESG strategies and oversight.
“We are seeing the intensifying focus on ESG and corporate sustainability among an ever-widening body of fiduciaries, asset owners and the management firms they hire. For example, many more RFPs provided to asset management firms by asset owners are asking for information about the ESG or sustainability policies, processes and outcomes of the asset owners.
“The response of the S&P 500 companies in providing information to both asset owners and asset managers is a broadening and deepening of the information provided in each of the reporting years represented in the chart. The trends we have tracked in S&P 500 reporting is now moving down the market-cap pyramid to companies in the Russell 1000 and even the Russell 2000.
“The S&P 500 companies are the corporate sector top leaders in ESG reporting, striving to explain their ESG / sustainability / responsibility strategies, expanding their governance and oversight of the ESG programs, engaging with their investors and stakeholders, and enhancing their disclosure by publishing sustainability / responsibility / citizenship reports in various formats -- and for some companies on a more continuous basis rather than once a year.”
THE DWINDLING NON-REPORTERS AMONG US CORPORATES
Governance & Accountability Institute's research team of talented analyst interns made significant contributions to this study and we recognize and salute them here:
For more information on our GRI Data Partner Report Analyst Research Interns,
ABOUT GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY INSTITUTE, INC.
G&A Institute is the Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the U.S., U.K., and Republic of Ireland. The G&A team performs this pro bono work on behalf of GRI. Over more than eight years, G&A has analyzed more than 7,000 sustainability reports and catalogued hundreds of important data points for these reports.
G&A’s sustainability-focused consulting and advisory services are organized into three main pillars: (1) Sustainability/ESG Strategies & Consulting Services; (2) Communications & 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.
ABOUT THE S&P 500®
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