Corporate Sustainability Reporting Hits ‘Super-Majority’ Status

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By Andrea Vittorio

Eighty-five percent of the nation’s largest public companies reported on climate change, diversity, and other sustainability issues in 2017, according to a March 20 study from the Governance & Accountability Institute.

Sustainability reporting by companies in the S&P 500 index hit a majority for the first time in 2012 and has climbed steadily since then, the institute’s annual analysis shows. Its chairman and co-founder Hank Boerner called this year’s result a “super-majority.”

The New York-based consulting firm is a data partner for the Global Reporting Initiative, the group behind the world’s most commonly used sustainability reporting standards.

Most of the companies that don’t issue sustainability reports come from the consumer discretionary, financial, and health-care sectors, the institute found.

“While our study shows there are still holdouts not reporting, the number steadily shrinks each year,” G&A Institute co-founder Louis Coppola, who designs and manages the analysis, said in a statement. He said that’s because customers, employees, investors, and others are increasingly pushing companies to consider sustainability in their strategy and operations.

Companies are also paying more attention to how they’re rated by firms like MSCI Inc. and Sustainalytics B.V. as the business of providing sustainability data and assessing companies on their sustainability performance grows.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Vittorio in Washington at avittorio@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com

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