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S&P 500 Index Companies Step Up Sustainability Reporting
By Tyler Collins

A recent analysis by the Governance & Accountability (G&A) Institute showed that companies that measure and manage their sustainability issues appear to perform better over the long-term in capital markets.

The G&A Institute report, “2012 Corporate ESG/Sustainability/Responsibility Reporting: Does it Matter?”, concentrated on S&P 500 companies, due to the fact that the S&P 500 Index is widely used as a benchmark for investment performance.

G&A researchers analyzed the index universe to separate and compare companies that did or did not publish sustainability reports in order to assess any positive associations and benefits of corporate sustainability reporting.

They determined that a majority, 53%, of S&P 500 companies have released sustainability and/or corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports—significantly more than the 20% of only a year ago.

Looking at the time period between 2007 and 2011, G&A observed that those corporations which reported on sustainability initiatives and performance had markedly higher share prices, lower costs of capital, better risk management profiles, inclusion in favorable opinions and popular equity indexes, and more competitive advantages and opportunities than their non-reporting counterparts.

Posted: January 24, 2013