Intercontinental Exchange, a global provider of data, technology, and market infrastructure, recently announced that its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reference data platform now includes coverage of major public European companies, allowing users to make comparisons across companies, sectors and geographies. Key findings from the database showed significant differences in ESG reporting between the largest companies in Europe and the United States.
The most recent data shows meaningful differences in how companies in Europe and the US — represented by companies in the STOXX 600 Europe Index and the ICE US 1000 Index, respectively — approach and act on ESG issues. Below are some of the findings from ICE’s data:
- In Europe, companies are almost 50% more likely to have identified the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) on Climate Action as an objective for their business, with 74% of European companies committing to this goal, while 25% of American companies have outlined this as a priority.
- European companies are also more likely to report greenhouse gas emissions, with 74% and 74% of companies disclosing scope 1 and scope 2 emissions information, while the data for American companies sits at 46% and 45%, respectively.
- ICE data showed that approximately 58% of European companies had explicitly identified the UN SDG on Gender Equality as an objective, compared to 21% of American companies.
- European companies are also more likely to have explicitly committed to tackling the UN SDG on Responsible Consumption and Production, with 68% of European companies working toward this goal compared to 23% of American companies.
- Approximately 81% of European companies have defined supply chain and sourcing policies, while the same metric stands at 53% for American companies.
ICE says that European companies are far more likely to have embraced ESG-related reporting and goals, while this remains a newer initiative among American companies. ESG infrastructure has existed for a longer time in Europe and there are regional and country-specific regulations that require specific disclosures and additional reporting requirements that do not exist in the US. Because of this, the demand for ESG products continues to grow and investors on both sides of the Atlantic are trying to satisfy these needs with more robust ESG data and analytics, according to ICE.