The number of companies doing sustainability reporting has been steadily increasing over the last several years. According to a recent analysis by the Governance & Accountability Institute, it has become mainstream in the United States for the capital markets.
In 2011 just 20% of companies included in the S&P 500 Index published a sustainability or corporate responsibility report. By 2014, that number jumped to 75%.
The increase in sustainability reporting reflects the growing pressure from shareholders and the investment community for transparency about sustainability efforts and risk management. Over the past four years corporate boards of directors and executive management teams have been increasingly adopting and implementing strategies and programs to measure sustainability and reporting on those efforts.
Although the trend of reporting on sustainability has been established as a new norm rather than optional, there are remaining companies that do not share their sustainability opportunities, risks, strategies, or actions. The majority of companies in the S&P 500 Index that are choosing not to publish corporate responsibility reports are in the Consumer Discretionary, Financials, and Information Technology sectors. These three sectors make up 68 of the 123 companies that abstained from sustainability reporting.