G&A Institute’s New Research Shows Big Jump in Sustainability Reporting by Mid-Cap U.S. Public Companies in 2022

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82% of Smallest Half of Russell 1000® Published ESG Reports; Record 98% of S&P 500® Companies and 90% of Total Russell 1000 Companies

NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. (G&A), a leading consulting and research firm on corporate sustainability and ESG, today announced the findings of its 2023 Sustainability Reporting in Focus research on companies in the S&P 500® Index and the Russell 1000® Index. The research showed substantial increases in sustainability reporting for both large-cap and mid-cap U.S. public companies, with large-cap companies in the S&P 500 approaching 100% reporting and mid-cap companies closing the gap with 82% publishing reports in 2022.

G&A’s 2023 Sustainability Reporting in Focus research is the 12th edition in G&A’s annual research series tracking the publication of sustainability reports by the largest U.S. publicly-traded companies. The research analyzes report content to provide detailed breakdowns of reporting frameworks and standards used (GRI, SASB, TCFD), alignment with initiatives such as the UN SDGs, trends in external assurance and CDP reporting, and breakdowns of non-reporters by sector.

The full report is available here.

Key takeaways include:

  • 90% of Russell 1000 companies published a sustainability report in 2022, up from 81% in 2021.
  • The smallest half by market cap of the Russell 1000 (mid-cap companies with approximately $2 billion-$4 billion in market cap) had the largest increase in reporting, jumping to 82% publishing a report in 2022 from 68% in 2021.
  • The largest half by market cap of the Russell 1000 (i.e., S&P 500 companies) are nearing 100% reporters with 98% publishing a report in 2022, up from 96% in 2021.
  • Alignment with TCFD continued to grow rapidly and was utilized by 50% of Russell 1000 reporters in 2022 compared to 34% in 2021 and just 4% in 2019.
  • Alignment with the GRI Standards remained consistent among Russell 1000 companies at 54% in 2022 when compared to the prior year.
  • SASB remained the most-widely used sustainability standard among the Russell 1000 for the second year in a row, utilized by over three-quarters of reporters (78%) in 2022.

Click here to view a graphical representation of the data noted above.

Louis Coppola, G&A’s Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, commented, “G&A’s annual Trends research has shown the progression of sustainability reporting to be unmistakably vigorous over the past decade. Today we stand at a pivotal inflection point, with a shift from voluntary to mandatory reporting. The increasing complexity of ESG disclosure, while challenging, presents immense opportunities for innovation and leadership within corporate America. We urge companies to embrace new ESG reporting standards and disclosure regulations as an opportunity to provide greater transparency and accountability to all stakeholders. This is a chance for companies to redefine their legacy and set precedents that will define the future of our society and our one and only planet Earth.”

Hank Boerner, G&A’s Chairman, Chief Strategist and Co-Founder, added, “When G&A began analyzing sustainability reporting trends, there was a sense that U.S. companies were lagging behind European issuers in releasing important non-financial information, such as for ESG factors, sustainability, ethics, corporate citizenship, and the like. No more! Sustainability reporting best practices are now firmly established and being widely adopted not just by the largest companies but also by mid-cap companies. As a result, U.S. companies are better positioned than ever before for expected new regulations on climate reporting.”

Founded in 2006, G&A is a sustainability consulting and research firm headquartered in New York City which helps corporate and investor clients develop winning strategies to address stakeholder and shareholder concerns. G&A’s proprietary, comprehensive full-suite process for sustainability reporting is designed to help organizations achieve sustainability leadership in their industry and sector.

Since 2011, G&A has built a comprehensive database of sustainability reporting data based on analysis of thousands of ESG and sustainability reports to help steer strategy for our clients and improve their disclosure and reporting. More information is available at ga-institute.com.

The S&P 500 is widely regarded as one of the best gauges of large-cap U.S. equity market performance, measuring the stock performance of approximately 500 large-cap companies covering approximately 80% of the total U.S. equity market capitalization. More information is available here.

The Russell 1000 Index is a market-weighted index that includes the largest publicly-traded U.S. companies by market cap, which make up approximately 93% of the total U.S. equity market capitalization. The indices/benchmarks are provided by FTSE Russell, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). More information is available here.

Louis D. Coppola, Executive Vice President & Co-Founder
Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
Tel 646.430.8230 ext 14
Email: [email protected]

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