While already in 2020, the participation rate increased by 19% over 2019, the CSA participation rate 2021 broke that record with an increase of 33% compared to the previous year. In this year’s assessment, from the 5,266 companies across the globe that were invited and eligible for inclusion in S&P Global’s ESG Indices, 1,843 companies actively participated in the assessment, showing a participation rate of 35%. Consequently, this is a record participation increase for the third consecutive year.
With a share of 36.2%, Asia Pacific is the region with the highest participation rate, followed by North America with 26.3%, and Europe with 25.8%. Furthermore, most companies participated in the CSA 2021 are located in the United States (395), Japan (190) and on third position is the United Kingdom with 101 companies participating.
Going into the industry level, the industries showing the highest absolute increase in participation are Banks with an addition of 40 companies participating, Real Estate shows an increase of 31 and Diversified Financial Services has a growth of 28 companies. Noteworthy is that already in the 2020 CSA, these three industries registered the highest absolute increase in participation.
It can be observed that investor attention to ESG data and company scores is strengthening. In addition to investors paying more attention to companies’ ESG performance, new regulatory frameworks and standards, such as the EU Taxonomy Regulation or the recommendations from the Task-Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) continue to influence the ESG landscape.
With the four pillars of standard and regulatory frameworks, investor feedback, company feedback, and industry and topics expertise, each year S&P Global applies methodology changes to the CSA in order to identify the world’s leading ESG companies. Moreover, S&P Global has further aligned its methodology with widely accepted sustainability reporting frameworks, like GRI and CDP. Overall, in 2021, 21 criteria were revised, with 23 newly introduced questions and 29 updated questions.
Within the governance and economic dimension, the main updates were applied in the field of companies’ readiness and management of risks and opportunities.
Main updates in the environmental dimension were applied to increase higher resource efficiency, such as through climate change scenarios, biodiversity commitment or conducting life cycle assessment for products. This dimension in particular is experiencing increasing regulatory changes as well as trends, such as reducing waste or offering low-carbon products. Therefore, the environmental dimension will most likely continue to evolve.
The social dimension was subject to major methodology changes, as overall 7 new questions were introduced, with 6 of them applying to all industries. Additionally, 14 questions were updated, including sharpened requirements to provide supporting internal or external documentation. Main updates were made in the Talent Attraction & Retention criterion, as well as to Labor Practice Indicators, to ensure an equal working environment for all employees.
Please find the details of these criteria in the summary available as a download at the top of the page.
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