90% of S&P 500 Index® Companies Publish Sustainability / Responsibility Reports in 2019

G&A Institute announces the results of its annual S&P 500 sustainability reporting analysis. 90% of the S&P 500 published corporate sustainability reports, an all-time high! 

New York, New York  — July 16, 2020 

For almost a decade, Governance & Accountability Institute (G&A) has been closely tracking the trends in sustainability reporting and disclosure activities of the publicly-traded companies included in the S&P 500® index.  These reports are also sometimes titled as responsibility, citizenship, or ESG reports.

This universe of business enterprises represents more than 80% of the outstanding equity of the largest U.S. companies.  The large-cap S&P 500 is used by thousands of global investment community players for the selection of equities by index managers, and by managers in a range of asset classes.

G&A’s annual research series began nine years ago with the analysis of sustainability reporting activities for publication year 2011, when we found just about 20% of the S&P 500 companies were publishing a sustainability report.   G&A has found the volume of reporting has steadily increased each year since 2011 and the contents of the reports dramatically expanded over time.  By 2012, more than half (53%) of the companies were publishing reports. That percentage grew to 75% by 2014 and to 86% by 2018. 

Let us walk you through what we found.

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In the just-completed 2020 research, examining 2019 reporting activities, G&A determined that 90% -- 9-of-10 companies in the S&P 500 were publishing a sustainability report. 

The 2020 research report features a breakdown of non-reporters by sector, those utilizing commonly used frameworks and standards (GRI, SASB, TCFD), those aligning with the UN SDGs, and examines trends in external assurance and survey reporting (CDP, CSA/DJSI). 

An example of this year’s research findings includes:

  • 51% of the S&P 500 reporting companies use GRI
  • 14% of S&P 500 reporters presented alignment with SASB
  • 5% of S&P 500 reporters presented alignment with TCFD
  • 36% of S&P 500 reporters presented alignment with specific UN SDGs
  • 29% of S&P 500 reporters utilized external assurance
  • 65% of S&P 500 companies respond to CDP

To download and read the full report, complete the form to the right.