Since taking over the ESG ratings and benchmarking arm from RobecoSAM at the end of 2019, S&P Global has been making big steps in extending the reach and application of the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (better known as the DJSI-questionnaire). The scope of companies assessed based on public information was already extended, and now more companies also have the opportunity to provide their ESG information directly by actively filling out the CSA.
The Corporate Sustainability Assessment is an assessment of a company's ESG performance. It results in a total sustainability score (0-100 points), which is a weighted average score resulting from the industry-specific questionnaire across ± 20-30 governance/economic, environmental and social criteria.
S&P Global invites selected companies to participate in the annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment, on a voluntairy basis and free of charge. In case the company choses not to actively participate in the assessment, it may be assesed based on publicly available information (such as annual reports and corporate website). The resulting ESG scores are used across a wide range of S&P Global's services for the investor community, and are now also published and available to the wider public.
As of 2021, the list of invited companies has been extended: approximately 3,500 invited companies are eligible for inclusion the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). Additionally, a further group of 1,500 companies is now also invited. They are not eligible for inclusion in the DJSI, but they can be included in the wider S&P ESG Index series if qualified based on their scores. This group also includes companies that are not invited for consideration in any DJSI, but were included in any of the following S&P Dow Jones indices as of December 31st, 2020. S&P Global has published the list of invited companies, showing which companies are invited and for which indices they are eligible.
Last month, S&P Global also announced to even further extend the group of companies to over 10,000, and invite an additional group of approximately 5,000 companies that are of interest to the broader investment community and therefore part of S&P Global’s research universe.
The S&P ESG indices are broad-based, market-cap-weighted indices designed to measure the performance of securities meeting sustainability criteria, while maintaining similar overall industry group weights as their underlying benchmark. More information on the S&P ESG Index series is available on S&P Global's website.
Companies eligible for inclusion in one or more DJSI or S&P ESG Indices are invited to complete the CSA questionnaire in different time windows. DJSI-eligible companies (Group A) are currently working on their assessment, and have an extended deadline due to the continuing impact of Covid-19 on the 13th of July, 2021. Meanwhile, the assessment for the 'new' group of companies eligible for the wider S&P ESG Index series, Group B, has opened on the 12th of May, and closes for submission on the 3rd of August.
Tuesday April 20, 2021:
Official invitation of eligible companies by email
Wednesday May 12, 2021:
Start of online questionnaire process
Tuesday August 3, 2021:
Q4 2021 (TBC):
Announcement of 2021 CSA results
Timelines for the additional group of invited companies (Group C) have not yet been announced.
Participating in the CSA for the first time can be a challenge, but having a good plan-of-action and preparation helps a lot. As a special offer for companies eligible for the S&P ESG Index series, starting their assessment in June, Finch & Beak is launching a CSA for Rookies Accelerator service: a lean support package to help you get the best result and leverage the learnings.
It starts with of an assessment of the company's ESG maturity and a gap-analysis of aspects that the CSA requires to be publicly disclosed. Then, during a workshop with your team to discuss the initial findings and the company's internal insights and approach on main challenges. The conclusions are bundled and complemented with specific recommendations for short, mid, and long-term actions to improve and an analysis of your CSA 2021 results in Q4.