Investors are scrutinizing environmental , social and governance (ESG) issues like never before. Hence, listed companies are paying more attention than ever to non-financial factors. 2022 is proving to be a crucial year for sustainable investing, largely due to the regulatory barrage coming from Europe.
A regulatory tsunami that has already increased the weight of responsible assets in the set of assets under management in Europe: at the end of June, more than 50% of the assets in funds marketed in the EU were already ESG, according to the data from Morningstar. Visit the specialized portal elEconomista Sustainable investment and ESG.
If we focus on the sustainability scores obtained by the 35 Ibex companies , the leader is Aena , in the eyes of Sustainalytics (an ESG data provider integrated into Morningstar ). The airport manager is the only company in the Spanish index that presents a zero level of sustainability risk. Next, with a very low level of risk, are Redeia , Merlin and Inditex.
Sustainalytics measures the level of ESG risks that may affect the business and that are not being managed by the company. The lower the grade, the better (less risks the company faces). There are not many companies that manage to drop below 10 points, and even fewer those that exceed 30.
Beyond that group of advanced companies are those other firms that, without necessarily starting from a good grade, have made notable progress in their sustainable rating so far in 2022. One of them is, precisely, Aena . She did already have a good grade as a starting point, which has not prevented her from being the Ibex that most improved her rating in 2022 (from 11.2 to 8.5 points), going from a low risk to an invaluable one .
Grifols , Endesa , Sacyr and Acciona have also changed for the better . All four have gone from presenting a medium level of risk to a low one . This improvement is especially notable at Grifols , which has gone from 21.8 points to 18.1 in an industry in which the average score is 30.4 ( high risk ). Morningstar details that the issues that generate ESG controversies in the case of Grifols are related to employees and customers .
The manufacturer of plasma products, without being a leader in sustainability, has seen an improvement in the score given by several suppliers , not just Morningstar. S&P Global assigns it an ESG score of 60 out of 100. Without being outstanding, it has risen consistently in the last three years (in 2019, the company failed, giving S&P 27 points out of 100).
Endesa is another of the listed companies that goes from medium to low risk in 2022, standing at 17.2 points. In your case, among the sustainable issues that can affect your business are your level of emissions and waste , Morningstar specifies.
It has also crossed the barrier towards Sacyr’s low risk, which cuts (and therefore improves) its score to 18.9. Morningstar points out that the most controversial issues that the company can face have to do with business ethics and with customers . Like Grifols, it has consistently managed to improve the score assigned to it by S&P over the three-year period (in 2019, it failed with 22 points out of 100, and now it obtains 61).
Acciona is another of the listed companies that have jumped a step in ESG this year. She goes from medium to low risk, according to Morningstar, and also receives a good rating from S & P Global, which gives her 88 points. In addition, Acciona receives a double A sustainability rating for a reference supplier such as Msci, which, without being an AAA , does place it as a leader in its sector according to ESG criteria. Also read: Acciona, BBVA and Indra, gold medals in sustainability for S&P Global.
Behind them are other companies – Indra , Cellnex , Rovi , CaixaBank …- which, although they have significantly improved their Morningstar rating, have not managed to change their risk level. In this section, Indra draws attention , which, in a very complex year due to the controversy that arose within its board ( with the stampede of its independent directors at the meeting last June) has managed to improve its grade . It is still at medium risk, but it has dropped to 15.4 points, from 12.9 at the beginning of the year.