Key information for companies interested in the CSA
Are you looking to establish a sustainability baseline and gain independent insight into how your company's sustainability performance compares with your peers and members of the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indices? Learn all about the process and benefits of assessing your company’s sustainability performance in the CSA.
GETTING AN ASSESSMENT
Which companies are invited to complete the CSA?
Each year S&P Global invites the largest global companies to participate in the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) free of charge. This year, for the first time, over 5,000 companies are invited to complete the CSA in two groups.
Companies eligble for inclusion in a Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). Companies that are eligible for inclusion in any Dow Jones Sustainability Index will be invited based on their free float asset capitalization at the end of the year prior to the invitation (for the 2021 CSA: December 31, 2020).
Companies eligble for inclusion in the S&P ESG index series. Companies that are not in the list of companies invited for consideration in any DJSI in 2021, but were included in selected S&P Dow Jones indices as of December 31, 2020 will also be invited to participate in the CSA this year.
Which companies commission the CSA as a service?
Large privately-owned businesses, companies preparing for a stock exchange listing, or listed companies not invited for the CSA can decide to commission the assessment in order to have their corporate sustainability performance evaluated.
The sole difference between the process for invited companies and the commissioned assessments are the assessment deadlines and the potential index inclusion. The underlying methodology and assessment approach is exactly the same for all companies participating in the CSA, making the results comparable and enabling comparison with DJSI members and other invited companies. Contact our ESG Benchmarking team to learn more.
How does the assessment work?
From data to score
The CSA uses a consistent, rules-based methodology with specific approached for 61 different industries. There are approximately 100 questions for each industry, with each question falling under one of approximately 23 different themes or criteria. The criteria, in turn, fall under one of the three dimensions: Environmental (“E”), Social (“S”), and Governance & Economic (“G”). Some criteria are common across industries, while others are industry specific. The CSA generates a total ESG score for every company covered, as well as individual scores for the three dimensions, with 100 being the best score in each case.
This graph visualizes the CSA. The size of the segments reflects the financial materiality assigned at each level as well as the weight applied in the score aggregation process. The CSA uses 61 industry specific sets of questions and weights.
Learn more about the CSA's approach to measuring sustainability performance
Your CSA portal - secure, online, easy-to-use
The CSA is completed via our secure online questionnaire platform, the CSA Portal. The Portal substantially facilitates reporting, and after the first year of participation and can be prefilled with previous answers in subsequent years.
The CSA portal provides useful tools to efficiently manage the process to complete the questionnaire:
- access a question-specific help function including background information on the rationale for each question/criterion as well as key definitions
- easily attach supporting evidence including hyperlinks, documents and comments to support and illustrate your answers
- quickly view questionnaire completion progress with clear color-coding scheme
- share access to the tool within your organization to enable different users to enter data
- control final questionnaire sign-off
Screenshot of the questionnaire in the CSA Portal:
A comprehensive benchmarking solution
The CSA enables you to establish a baseline for your sustainability performance and to conduct competitive benchmarking. Companies receive access to results in the online benchmarking database and can download a CSA scorecard in Excel format (download a sample scorecard). We facilitate your learning and empower you to conduct multi-year trend analysis and gain detailed insight on the performance within your industry. The database covers all criteria and questions assessed showing the sustainability performance of your company and your industry peers, both in absolute and relative terms.
Screenshot of the CSA Benchmarking Database:
What is the Assessment Timeline?
Companies invited to participate in the CSA need to complete the assessment in a defined window of two months in the first half the year. Once the questionnaire is submitted the answers and supporting evidence are reviewed and assessed by S&P Global analysts. The quality control process involves a comprehensive review of the entire submission. Followed by multiple layers of quality checks including comparison with industry peers and expert review. An independent third-party audit assures the consistency and robustness of the entire process and the results.
The assessment results will be available in the fall. The earliest time any result is shared is with the annual rebalancing of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). This is also the case for companies that commissioned the CSA as a service.
“We consider the CSA to be the premier external sustainability assessment. To keep our sustainability strategy relevant into the future, Linde can’t simply look into the mirror. We need a way to be able to look into the future. The CSA is one of our key tools to do that”