S&P Dow Jones Indices has introduced a new set of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores, giving investment professionals, analysts, and corporations insight into companies’ ESG performance. The scores leverage industry-acclaimed assessment data from SAM (now part of S&P Global), which specializes in ESG data.
S&P DJI ESG Scores are part of our broader suite of index-based solutions designed to address growing interest in ESG.
Building on an Industry Standard
S&P DJI ESG Scores are rooted in SAM’s esteemed Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), a robust survey-based approach to evaluating corporate ESG performance with a focus on financial materiality. Backed by 20 years of investment performance data, SAM’s research methodology is characterized by thoroughness and granularity, rigorous standards for verification, and data source transparency.
Conducted annually, the assessment intends to identify companies that are better equipped to recognize and respond to emerging sustainability opportunities and challenges. It does this by capturing and evaluating the following for each company:
Companies participating in the CSA respond to one of 61 industry-specific questionnaires that in some cases yield more than a thousand company-level and industry-specific data points.
These highly granular data form the basis for industry-specific Criteria Scores, which in turn roll up into Dimension (E, S, and G) Scores, and ultimately, Total ESG Scores. Data at all three of these levels is available for licensing for peer-group comparisons and analysis.
Source: SAM. Chart is provided for illustrative purposes.
Why S&P DJI ESG Scores?
S&P DJI ESG Scores build upon SAM’s widely adopted, time-tested approach and takes it a step further by normalizing the scores at the industry level to make them more useful for a wide range of applications. The dataset enhances transparency into companies’ performance by emphasizing the most impactful factors and by not penalizing companies for missing data in non-critical areas.
Depth and Relevance of Analysis
- Scores are built on direct company responses to SAM’s CSA and publicly available data.
- Companies are assessed based on criteria specific to their industry.
- Scoring framework is driven by SAM’s financial materiality analysis, which is also industry-specific.
Emphasis on Results
- Approach rewards companies for awareness and disclosure, data quality and performance on specific ESG criteria. It is supplemented by an ongoing Media & Stakeholder Analysis to ensure that corporate behavior is in line with stated policies and expected best practices.
- Ongoing methodological refinements progressively drive forward each industry’s ESG benchmark, continually setting the bar higher for best-in-class status.
Rigorous Validation Mechanisms
- SAM’s Media and Stakeholder Analysis provides intra-update checks and balances to ensure companies are upholding the standards they communicate to their stakeholders.
- SAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment process is externally audited by a leading external consultancy firm.
In Practice: Using Our ESG Scores
Portfolio Exclusions/Best-in-Class Screens
Define an investable universe to exclude low-scoring companies or identify top performers. Reduce reputational or performance risk, or seek potential alpha.
Target improved ESG performance while still seeking to achieve benchmark-like returns, or integrate ESG into factor-based strategies.
Analyze the risks associated with different ESG criteria. Understand how ESG factors may correlate with financial performance.
Shareholder Voting and Engagement
Identify laggards within industries to promote targeted and evidence-based company engagement.
ESG Action Plans
Understand how your company compares to industry peers and identify key drivers of performance to inform ESG strategies.
The S&P DJI ESG Score dataset covers approximately 7,600 companies for 2019, and history on covered companies is available back to 2013. Subscribers can access the data via weekly SFTP data feeds and on our SPICE data-delivery platform, which also features data visualization tools that allow users to graphically display a company’s ESG performance versus its peers.
Included with S&P DJI ESG Score subscriptions are Total ESG Scores, Dimension Scores, and Criteria Scores, along with the corresponding weights, rankings, and identifiers for each company assessed during the covered methodology years. The S&P DJI ESG scores are supplemented by SAM ESG Scores, which have been used to define the constituents of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for 20 years.
Discover Material Insights with S&P DJI ESG Data
S&P DJI ESG Scores FAQ
S&P DJI ESG Scores Methodology