Sustainability - Thematic Research

Sustainability - Thematic Research


Sustainability used to be just about saving the planet. Today it has morphed into an umbrella term for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

While some companies are making concerted efforts to improve their ESG performance across many areas, others are simply paying lip service to the concept of sustainable profits.

Momentum is on the side of the sustainability movement. Citizens, governments, regulators, and the media are turning the spotlight on corporations and demanding action. Social inequality, corruption, tax avoidance, and a lack of action on climate change are all issues that companies must now address head-on, in full public view.

The reluctance of many CEOs to fully engage with sustainability can be attributed to the age-old view that it will hurt profits. However, the evidence in this report suggests the opposite. Companies that embrace all three elements of sustainability will outperform their peers. CEOs that are too slow to improve their company’s approach to sustainability will see an exodus of customers and a drop in profits far sooner than they ever imagined.


  • This report provides an overview of sustainability, the most important theme for 2020.
  • It includes a comprehensive sustainability framework, covering environment, social and governence factors, to help CEOs identify all potential sustainability risks and implement mitigating actions that can improve their company’s ESG performance.
  • It highlights some of the leading ESG rating agencies and ESG consultancies that can help CEOs measure and improve their ESG performance.
Reasons to buy
  • In 2020, sustainability will be the most important theme discussed in corporate boardrooms worldwide.
  • Over the coming decade, it will transform the way that business is conducted. Customers, voters, and politicians will demand greater action is taken on environmental, social, and governance issues.
  • Companies that take sustainability seriously now will be better placed to succeed in the future.
  • This reports sets out a framework for sustainability that CEOs can use to identify their sustainability risks and understand mitigating actions that can improve their sustainability performance.

  • Introduction
  • Sustainability is the most important theme for 2020
    • Yesterday's business leaders focused on beating quarterly profit targets
    • Tomorrow's successful business leaders will focus on sustainable profits
  • GlobalData's sustainability framework
    • Table Figure 1: GlobalData's sustainability framework
    • Environmental
    • Social
    • Governance
  • Environmental
    • Table Figure 2: GlobalData's sustainability framework: environmental factors
    • Climate change
      • Table GHG emissions and ozone-depleting substances on the environment
    • Pollution
      • Table Key pollutants in each category
    • Biodiversity
      • Table Contributing factors to biodiversity
    • Natural resources
      • Table Natural resources
  • Social
    • Table Figure 3: GlobalData sustainability framework: social factors
    • Human rights
      • Table Human Rights Factors
    • Diversity and inclusion
      • Table Diversity and inclusion
    • Health and safety
      • Table Health and safety
    • Community impact
      • Table Community impact
  • Governance
    • Table Figure 4: Our sustainability framework: governance factors
    • Corporate structure
      • Table Corporate structure
    • Risk management
      • Table Risk management
    • Corruption and bribery
      • Table Corruption and bribery
    • Ethics
      • Table Ethics
  • Putting it all together
    • Table Figure 5: GlobalData's sustainability framework
  • Sustainability measurement and response
    • ESG advisors
      • Table Figure 6: A selection of ESG advisors
    • ESG rating agencies
      • Table Figure 7: A selection of ESG rating agencies
  • Timeline
    • Table Figure 8: Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in today's world
  • Companies
    • Healthcare
      • Table Figure 9: ESG ratings for pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment providers, and payers and providers of healthcare
    • Technology, media, and telecoms
      • Table Figure 10: ESG ratings for technology, media, and telecoms companies
    • Consumer
      • Table Figure 11: ESG ratings for consumer packaged goods, food and beverages, foodservices, and packaging companies
    • Retail
      • Table Figure 12: ESG ratings for retail and apparel companies
    • Travel and tourism
      • Table Figure 13: ESG ratings for travel and tourism companies
    • Industrials
      • Table Figure 14: ESG ratings for aerospace and defense, automotive, chemicals and manufacturing companies
    • Energy
      • Table Figure 15: ESG ratings for oil and gas majors and power utilities
    • Materials
      • Table Figure 16: ESG ratings for construction and mining companies
    • Financial services
      • Table Figure 17: ESG ratings for banking, payments, insurance, real estate, and professional services companies
  • Glossary
    • Table Glossary
  • Appendix: Our thematic research methodology
    • Viewing the world's data by themes makes it easier to make important decisions
    • Traditional research does a poor job of picking winners and losers
    • That is why we developed our "thematic engine"
    • How do we create our sector scorecards?
      • Table Figure 18: Our five-step approach for generating a sector scorecard
    • What is in our sector scorecards?
    • How do we score companies in our thematic screen?
    • How our research reports fit into our overall thematic research ecosystem
    • Further reading
    • About GlobalData
    • Contact us
    • Disclaimer
    • Research
    • Client Services

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