In an analysis just completed by the Governance & Accountability Institute research team, seventy two percent (72%) of the companies included in The S&P 500 Index® were found to have published a sustainability or corporate responsibility report.
The index is one of the most widely followed barometers of the U.S. economy, and conditions for large-cap public companies in the capital markets.
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.
Another way to state this is to look at the shrinking minority of the S&P 500 corporations not publishing Sustainability reports:
in 2011, 80% of S&P 500 companies were not publishing sustainability reports;
in 2012, that number was reduced to a minority of 47% for non-reporting companies;
by 2013, just 27%, (a rapidly shrinking minority) of S&P 500 companies were not publishing sustainability reports.
Previously (in 2012) Governance & Accountability Institute’s research showed for the first time the companies in the S&P 500 that were not reporting were in the minority. Now, the latest 2013 data just released shows that in 2013 that minority group has become even smaller.
Sustainability reporting has become the clear norm in the U.S. capital markets represented by the S&P 500, considered by many to be the bellwether for the U.S. economy.
Louis D. Coppola, Executive VP of G&A Institute, who designed and coordinated the analysis, commented: "We are seeing clear indications over the past three years that senior corporate management understands the importance of adopting and implementing strategies that reflect the rising interest of investors and stakeholders in corporate sustainability."
"Companies headquartered in the United States of America are publishing sustainability reports in greater numbers, and with more content that meets stakeholder expectations. The S&P 500 companies in the lead on disclosure and reporting are focusing much more now on the materiality of ESG* issues, and engaging with internal and external stakeholders to determine the materiality of report content. So now, along with the sheer volume of corporate reporting increasing, we are seeing greater intensity of focus on what really matters in the report."