More companies talk ESG; still have a way to go
Through Dec. 5, 31 companies in the S&P 500 index mentioned ESG efforts during their third-quarter earnings calls. That number is up from 24 mentions in second-quarter calls and 12 during the third quarter of 2018, and still only represents about 6% of the index. However, the jump in mentions does indicate growing pressure on companies to address environmental, social and governance issues with its shareholders. The research, published by FactSet, does not delineate between efforts to improve corporate citizenship and otherwise and quoted one company that essentially said that while there is no specific ESG-centric part of their business models, the values are inherently built in.
Financial companies and their real estate cousins most commonly mentioned ESG during their third-quarter calls, making up nearly half of all mentions by sector.