FLASH REPORT — Seventy-Five Percent (75%) of the S&P 500 Index Published Corporate Sustainability Reports in 2014

G&A Institute: Sustainability reporting has become the clear norm in the U.S. capital markets as represented by our four year study of the S&P 500*. Over the last four years there has been significant uptake in sustainability reporting from just 20% in 2011 to 75% in 2015, demonstrating the necessity of measuring and managing ESG issues in response to growing stakeholder and stockholder demands.

NEW YORK, June 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a thorough analysis just completed by the Governance & Accountability Institute research team, seventy-five percent (75%) of the companies included in the S&P 500 Index® were found to have published a sustainability or corporate responsibility report.

To put this in context G&A in tracking prior year(s) reporting found that:

  • in 2011, just under 20% of S&P 500 companies had reported;
  • in 2012, 53% (for the first time a majority) of S&P 500 companies were reporting;
  • by 2013, 72% were reporting — that is 7-out-of-10 of all companies in the popular benchmark.

As we entered year 2015, just 25% of the S&P 500 were not publishing sustainability reports. The number of companies reporting is holding steady year-to-year. The chart linked here represents the trends of S&P 500 sustainability reporting over the last 4 years:  http://www.ga-institute.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Graphics/S_P500Chart2015_WebFullSize.jpg


Louis D. Coppola, Executive VP of G&A Institute, who designed and coordinated the analysis, notes:  "We are seeing clear indications over the past four years in our research and work with our corporate clients that boards of directors and executive management understand the importance of adopting and implementing strategies, programs and initiatives that reflect the keen interest of investors and stakeholders in corporate sustainability."

“Companies headquartered in the United States of America are publishing sustainability reports in substantial and now steady numbers.  Along with the volume of reporting we see a greater maturity of sustainability reporting with an increased focus on the part of corporate reporters on materiality, comparability, balance and context of content to meet rising stakeholder expectations. "

The Missing Among Corporate Sustainability Reporters

The chart below contains the number and percentage of companies from the sectors in our S&P 500 study which are choosing not to report on their sustainability opportunities, risks, strategies, actions, programs, and achievements. 

Consumer Discretionary24 19.51%
Financials24 19.51%
Information Technology20 16.26%
Industrials18 14.63%
Health Care15 12.20%
Energy12 9.76%
Consumer Staples4 3.25%
Telecommunications Services3 2.44%
Materials2 1.63%
Utilities1 0.81%
TOTAL123 100%

Governance & Accountability Institute's GRI Data Partner Report Analyst Research Team of talented interns contributed significantly to this research and we recognize them here:

  • Selene Lawrence (2015 Team Leader)  
    Hunter College — BS, Geography 
  • Tania Apicella  
    Rutgers Business School — MBA  
  • Simon Fischweicher  
    Bard College — MBA, Sustainability   
  • Evan Guyton  
    Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business — MBA
  • John Rovetto  
    William Paterson, University of New Jersey — BS, Business Management

For more information on our GRI Data Partner Report Analyst Research Interns, please visit www.ga-institute.com/the-honor-roll.html

About Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.

A sustainability consulting firm headquartered in New York City, assisting corporations in executing winning strategies that maximize return on investment at every step of their Sustainability Journey.  The G&A team helps corporate and investment community clients recognize, understand and address sustainability issues to address stakeholder and shareholder concernsG&A Institute is the exclusive Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the USA, UK and Ireland.  A G&A team of six or more perform this pro bono work on behalf of GRI. In 2014 they analyzed more than 1200 sustainability reports in this role and databased about 100 important data points for each report.

G&A’s services and resources include: Counseling & Strategies for the Corporate Sustainability journey; Sustainability Reporting assistance; thorough Materiality Assessments; Stakeholder Engagement; Benchmarking; enhancing Investor Relations; Sustainability Communications; Manager Coaching, Team Building & Training;  Issues Monitoring & Customized Research; advice on Third Party Awards and Recognitions.


*S&P 500®

According to S&P Dow Jones Indices / McGraw Hill Financial: “The S&P 500® is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large cap U.S. equities.  There is over US$7 trillion benchmarked to the index, with index assets comprising approximately US$ 1.9 trillion of this total. The index includes 500 leading companies and captures approximately 80% coverage of available market capitalization.”  The S&P 500 is a trademarked® property of S&P Dow Jones Indices, McGraw Hill Financial. Ticker: SPX


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