In the DJSI 2020, 61 industries were assessed and from the 3,467 largest companies globally invited, 1,386 companies actively participated in the assessment: showing a participation rate of 40%. This is a record participation increase for the second year in a row, as S&P Global already had a record in increase between 2018 and 2019 as well. Yet, during the ongoing pandemic, the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) marked its strongest year in 2020 and registered an increased participated rate of 18.9% from 2019 to 2020.
Asia Pacific as the largest geographical region has a participation rate of 36% and North America, making 26% of the total participation rate records the highest increased participation rate in 2020.
Diving into the industry level, two industry groups showed the highest absolute increase in participation. Firstly, real estate with an increase of 29 newly participating companies and secondly, financials (including insurance, banks, and diversified financials), which records a plus of 37 participants.
2020 was not an easy year, and yet the participation rate increased. S&P Global believes that the global pandemic transformed how we do business and how we should manage our time. Furthermore, the trends show that the more companies participate, the more competitive the DJSI assessment gets. In addition, the methodology for CSA improves constantly, and as such the questions become more challenging.
By downloading the scorecard, companies are now able to see the score breakdown on the criterion question level, e.g. 70 points on Gender Diversity. In addition, for the first time, companies can detect their competition scores as well as a trend analysis on dimension level. Hence, S&P Global further increased its transparency.
Furthermore, S&P Global highlighted it will integrate the competition ranking also per criterion by the first half of next year. It is also planned that 2021 S&P Global will publish companies' total score, their dimension scores as well as the nine most critical material issues per industry, in the public domain to maximize exposure and thank companies for their effort participating in the CSA.
Overall, the link between ESG disclosure and corporate value is growing and S&P Global believes that as ESG investment becomes mainstream, it needs to be integrated into the company’s core values.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also reflected in the DJSI 2020 results, in particular in the questions Emerging Risks as well as Health & Well-Being that were highlighted during the webinar. The criteria with methodology developments in 2020 and included in the webcast were Information Security/Cybersecurity & System Availability and Packaging. Please find the details of these criteria in the summary available as a download at the top of the page.
Looking ahead at the 2021 cycle, the CSA process is will return to the regular timeline: the assessment opens on Tuesday 6 April and the deadline for submission of answers is Thursday 3 June. S&P Global monitors the COVID-19 situation and will inform companies in case of any timeline changes.
With more than 15 years of experience in Dow Jones Sustainability Index support and a long-term collaboration with S&P Global, Finch & Beak is Europe’s leading expert in helping companies to get more value out of their participation in ESG benchmarks. Contact Josée van der Hoek, Director, at email@example.com or call her at +31 6 28 02 18 80 to learn how we could help your company accelerate your ESG results.