4 Steps to get started for the 2024 S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA)

Post Date
06 May 2024
Miguel Oyarbide
Alisha Lewis
Charlie Hodkinson-Ashford
Germán Saenz
James Scott
Nikkie Vinke
Read Time
4 minutes
  • ESG advisory

With the launch of the 2024 S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), you might be among the 13,000 companies reviewing their questionnaires for this year’s CSA.

The S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) is one of the world’s most comprehensive annual assessments of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance based on financially material sustainability indicators, weighted to reflect what matters most in your industry. The results are used by hundreds of thousands of stakeholders every year – ranging from investors looking to inform investment decisions, to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other non-financial stakeholders interested in company sustainability performance, and by companies themselves to gain a better understanding of their own sustainability journey.

To begin planning for this year’s CSA, we recommend implementing a structured process that involves these 4 steps:

1. Conduct a methodology deep dive

Step one in building your plan includes delving into the S&P Global CSA methodology.

The CSA methodology is updated annually, capturing essential changes to the assessment criteria, including changes in criteria weighting. When conducting a methodology deep dive, you may want to consider:

  • Updates relevant to your industry, including new questions added, questions deleted, and consolidated questions.
  • Changes to criteria weightings to understand importance of relevant criteria.
  • Changes in evidence requirements to understand what questions now require private or partially public or publicly available information.

2. Perform a gap analysis

The second step involves utilising insights from the methodology deep dive in step 1 to perform a thorough gap analysis.

To perform a gap analysis, consider:

  • Scores from the previous year as a way of highlighting pre-existing gaps and creating a baseline.
  • Potential shifts in performance and high-risk areas by overlaying pre-existing gaps with changes in weightings identified in step 1.
  • Other factors such as changes in evidence requirement and the ability of your current disclosures to meet these requirements.

3. Align key reporting requirements

Step three involves assessing synergies to streamline reporting efforts.

The CSA takes into account key standards and frameworks such as GRI, TCFD and UN PRI, indicating overlap and opportunities for utilising information from already existing company disclosures.

Understanding the alignment of your CSA submission with other reporting requirements will help minimise duplication of efforts and ensure consistency across your disclosures. When aligning your CSA questions with other requirements, consider:

  • All standards and frameworks, regulations and other reporting requirements relevant to your disclosure.
  • Commonalities across the reporting requirements (We recommend using the CSA Handbook for guidance on synergies).
  • Actions needed to implement to close gaps across the different reporting requirements.

4. Map out relevant data owners

The final step requires mapping data owner across teams for collaboration on the CSA.

As with any reporting exercise, identifying and involving relevant data owners early in the process will ensure greater share of input and help bring attention to sustainability issues that need to be integrated into existing processes and decisions. When mapping relevant data owners, consider:

  • High-risk areas as identified in previous steps and effort required from teams typically managing these topics.
  • Internal teams involved in responding to other reporting requirements, particularly those aligned with your CSA questions.
  • Engagement required from data owners throughout the CSA process, including support with drafting, reviewing and actioning outcomes following the release of results.

How we can support you

At SLR, our global team possesses a wealth of expertise in ESG reporting and disclosure, offering comprehensive support throughout your CSA journey, including:

  • Conducting gap analyses to understand historical performance and key areas for improvement;
  • Supporting companies with internal engagement and data collection using our bespoke CSA tools;
  • Analysing and benchmarking scores to create a clear roadmap for improvement.

Further information

In our latest SLR webinar series, we offer our view on the ‘Raters & Rankers’ industry. On the first episode of this series our experts discussed “the Industry today” (watch the full recording here); the second episode’s focus is S&P’s Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (recording here).

Upcoming Webinar

Register here to the third event of this series where our EcoVadis experts will be discussing how to achieve a robust assessment and maximising your organisation's sustainability rating.

Get in touch with our global CSA experts for further information.

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