G&A Institute’s 2020 Research Report Shows 65% of Russell 1000® Published Sustainability Reports in 2019, Up From 60% in 2018

39% of Companies in Smaller Half by Market Cap of Russell 1000 Index Published Sustainability Reports in 2019 - Up From 34% in 2018

NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Governance & Accountability Institute (G&A Institute), a leading consulting and research firm focused on ESG and sustainability, issued its 2020 Russell 1000 Research Report on sustainability reporting trends of the companies in the Russell 1000 Index®.

  • G&A Institute’s research team determined that 65% of the companies included in the Russell 1000 published sustainability reports in 2019, an increase from 60% in 2018.  

  • The researchers found that 90% of the largest 500 companies by market cap in the index published sustainability reports in 2019, an increase from 86% in 2018.

  • The number of companies publishing reports in the smaller 500 companies by market cap also increased, with 39% publishing reports in 2019, up from 34% in 2018.

This research by G&A Institute on the Russell 1000 expands on our annual studies, conducted for the last nine years, of sustainability reporting trends of the companies included in the S&P 500® Index. It is important to note that the S&P 500® Index and Russell 1000® Index overlap, as they are market capitalization weighted indices that contain roughly the largest 500 and 1000 publicly-traded companies in the U.S., respectively. This means that the largest half of the Russell 1000® generally mimics the S&P 500®.

Hank Boerner, Chairman & Co-Founder of G&A, said, "The dramatic increase in sustainability reporting that we have seen over the past five years in large-cap U.S. companies is beginning to be seen in smaller companies, as represented in our research on the smaller half of the Russell 1000 Index. Public companies of all sizes are responding to increased adoption of ESG and sustainable investing strategies by institutional investors, including pension funds and mutual funds.”

Louis Coppola, EVP & Co-Founder of G&A, said, "While sustainability reporting by mid-cap and small-cap public companies has lagged behind that of large-cap companies, our research shows that reporting by smaller companies is accelerating. We expect this trend to continue and we look forward to continuing our research on important trends in sustainability reporting.”

Significant findings of G&A Institute’s 2020 Russell 1000 Research Report include:

  • 65% of Russell 1000 companies published sustainability reports in 2019
  • 47% of the reporting companies used the widely accepted GRI Standards
  • 23% of the reporting companies in some way referenced or aligned with SASB
  • 14% of the reporting companies mentioned or aligned with the TCFD, while 4% of those reported with detailed alignment
  • 41% responded to CDP Climate Change questionnaire
  • 32% of the reporting companies presented alignments with the SDGs

For the complete G&A Institute Russell 1000 Research Report with comparisons of the smallest and largest halves of the index, please visit G&A Institute’s website at: https://www.ga-institute.com/index.php?id=553

ABOUT G&A INSTITUTE http://www.ga-institute.com/
Governance & Accountability Institute is an ESG and sustainability consulting and research firm, founded in 2006, focused on helping clients become leaders in corporate sustainability and responsibility, including the full range of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues.

For more than a decade, G&A Institute has been the pro-bono Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the U.S., U.K. and Republic of Ireland. In this role, G&A Institute has analyzed more than 9,000 sustainability reports for public companies in those countries and catalogued hundreds of important data points from 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 RUSSELL 1000® https://www.ftserussell.com/about-us/our-story
The Russell U.S. Indexes (launched in 1984 and ranging from mega-cap to micro-cap) are leading benchmarks for institutional investors. These market-weighted benchmarks are used to track large/mid/small/micro-cap or investment styles. All the indexes roll up to the Russell 3000® Index. The Russell 1000 Index includes the largest publicly-traded U.S. companies by market cap, which make up approximately 92% of the total market capitalization of all listed stocks in the U.S. equity market.

The indices/benchmarks are provided by FTSE Russell for U.S. and global markets. FTSE Russell is a wholly owned subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and is a unit of the Information Services Division.

Louis D. Coppola, Executive Vice President & Co-Founder
Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
646.430.8230 ext 14