Seventy-Five Percent (75%) of the S&P 500 Index Published Corporate Sustainability Reports in 2014

G&A Institute’s 2015 Inaugural Benchmark Study Shows

New York, New York  — June 8, 2015 — In a thorough analysis just completed by the Governance & Accountability Instituteresearch team, seventy-five percent (75%) of the companies included in the S&P 500 Index® were found to have published a sustainability or corporate responsibility report.


The S&P 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.

As we entered year 2015, just 25% of the S&P 500 were not publishing sustainability reports. The number of companies reporting is holding steady year-to-year. The chart above represents the trends of S&P 500 sustainability reporting over the last 4 years.


Sustainability reporting has become the clear norm in the U.S. capital markets as represented by our four year study of the S&P 500*.  Over the last four years there has been significant uptake in sustainability reporting from just 20% in 2011 to 75% in 2015, demonstrating the necessity of measuring and managing ESG issues in response to growing stakeholder and stockholder demands.   


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;

  • by 2013, 72% were reporting — that is 7-out-of-10 of all companies in the popular benchmark.


Louis Coppola, EVP & Co-Founder of G&A Institute

Louis D. Coppola, Executive VP of G&A Institute, who designed and coordinated the analysis, notes:  "We are seeing clear indications over the past four years in our research and work with our corporate clients that boards of directors and executive management understand the importance of adopting and implementing strategies, programs and initiatives that reflect the keen interest of investors and stakeholders in corporate sustainability."

"Companies headquartered in the United States of America are publishing sustainability reports in substantial and now steady numbers.  Along with the volume of reporting we see a greater maturity of sustainability reporting with an increased focus on the part of corporate reporters on materiality, comparability, balance and context of content to meet rising stakeholder expectations."

The Missing Among Corporate Sustainability Reporters

The chart below contains the number and percentage of companies from the sectors in our S&P 500 study which are choosing not to report on their sustainability opportunities, risks, strategies, actions, programs, and achievements. 

Governance & Accountability Institute's GRI Data Partner Report Analyst Research Team of talented interns contributed significantly to this research and we recognize them here: