The Sustainability Yearbook 2021 - Articles
Faced with adversities that drive us apart, we must find creative ways to stay stronger together. S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook 2021 presents relevant data and stories by pulling efforts from across the entire organization and a variety of different stakeholders. The increasing global commitment to sustainability is evidenced by the record participation of companies in our Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), even during a disruptive and challenging 2020.
Our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) experts joined forces with S&P Global Market Intelligence and Platts in addition to the high-value inputs of external collaborators. We thus provide essential intelligence to power the markets of a future that will look ever more closely into issues such as gender parity, plastics and petroleum. Like never before, societies have been called upon to reflect on the value given to what we once took for granted, while anticipating unforeseen risks and preparing to identify opportunities down the road to make decisions with conviction.
Join us on this journey by exploring the insightful articles of The Sustainability Yearbook 2021.
Rethinking the value of everything
Current measures of value are too narrowly focused on measuring growth and progress in terms of goods and services consumed and produced. This myopic view has created an unsustainable system that rewards the short-term and discounts the long-term. But conventional metrics and methods of today’s accounting will not work for a sustainable tomorrow.
New mandates, new metrics and new methodologies are needed to help companies and economies recalibrate for the future. We advocate a rethink on what constitutes value creation as well as how to measure and monetize it. With a wealth of corporate sustainability data, analytical tools and long-term orientation, ESG research and ratings providers like S&P Global will be key collaborative partners in defining a new way of assessing value that ensures the interests of all stakeholders are represented and aligned.
Identification and management of new risks – key gaps and recommendations
While considered necessary, managing risks from a compliance perspective has been shown to be far from sufficient for managing larger unexpected events triggered by external factors.
S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) asks questions about emerging risks, risk culture, and risk governance. This article analyzes companies reporting on emerging risks and shows how a strong risk culture can arm companies with useful tools to both identify and prepare for these events. Our Media and Stakeholder Analysis (MSA) then considers the relationship between a company’s risk culture and the probability of it being subject to controversies.
Finally, the external contributions of RepRisk and Tilman & Company provide two compelling perspectives on the topic: (1) Why is the role of ESG risk due diligence essential to identify disruptive risk events from an investor point of view?, and (2) How can leaders successfully navigate a volatile and unpredictable environment occasioned by the occurrence of such disruptive risk events?
Gender equality in the workplace: going beyond women on the board
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, it will take another 100 years to achieve gender equality based on the current rate of progress. This prediction has been widely used as a shock therapy to push governments, NGOs, associations, investors and companies into action. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis, efforts will have to be doubled if we are to avoid losing another 10 years to achieve gender equality.
The percentage of women in the total workforce has stayed relatively stable, averaging around 35% over the past five years. However, the proportion of women decreases as we move up the corporate ladder. How can companies ensure that they retain their women talent and close this gap between the proportion of women in junior management and in senior management?
Driving the energy transition: more than just hedging downside demand
The energy transition encompasses many different angles. These include, but are not limited to, oil and gas diversification, automotive and transport transformation, alternative drive train adoption at the commercial versus consumer level, and renewable energy opportunities.
In this article, we will narrow our focus and assess how the electrification of transport within the broader energy transition, and more specifically the adoption of Electric Vehicles, represents material risks and opportunities as reported by companies in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) and scenario forecasts for automotive and energy companies.
Packaging the future: a material matter
Circular Economy, resource scarcity and conscious consumption; the last decade has borne witness to an exponential rise in the interest in circularity and closed loop systems from companies, consumers, governments and investors. The topic of plastic use – particularly packaging – has been at the heart of this conversation, as our single-use consumer habits have been examined, and images of unmanaged waste exhibiting household brand names have garnered global attention. Circular principles have multi-trillion-dollar implications.
Stakeholders along the value chain need to work together to collectively stop the linear flow of packaging into our waste streams and our natural environment, while ensuring that we are preserving the value of the materials.
How and why is this topic financially material? And how can companies better reflect performance in plastic and packaging metrics?
2020 Annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment
COMPANIES ASSESSEDas of Nov. 30, 2019
DATA POINTS COLLECTED