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Standard Ethics publishes The Big Picture: Annual Report 2023

As Standard Ethics enters its 20th year of operations in the sustainable finance arena, it once again shares its annual focus on Europe’s five largest economies (Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK) with additional updates to other global companies based in Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, the USA and Hong Kong. Moreover, it specifically:

  • looks back and comments on the Country Standard Ethics Rating (Country SER) assigned to more than 45 nations;
  • examines the Corporate Standard Ethics Ratings (Corporate SER) of a sample of more than 500 listed companies;
  • offers a snapshot of the Security Standard Ethics Rating (Security SER) service and its methodology;
  • compares sustainable developments in more than 30 of the most important industry sectors;
  • examines all key ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) aspects and performance in areas such as the governance of Sustainability and corporate governance structure;
  • assesses the alignment of companies with international sustainability indications established by supranational organizations such as the UN, the OECD and the EU.

The Agency’s more recent analysis activities have also taken into consideration:

  • specific developments in Sustainability in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Gender Equality;
  • the ongoing EU regulatory and standardisation requirements for both the market and ESG rating agencies and providers;
  • the year’s particular geopolitical impacts on the management of the European rail infrastructure.

This document intends to provide the market and its various stakeholders (from institutions to listed and unlisted companies, from universities to the media) with a general and more in-depth picture of the research conducted by Standard Ethics over the course of 2023, and concludes on a positive note reporting a substantial 18+% increase in global companies who have moved up to a Sustainable Grade in the last year. In fact, the majority of companies analysed by the Agency now sit between an EE- and an EE rating.

It is, therefore, increasingly evident today that there is a universal convergence for all companies on Sustainability issues. The goal of reducing one's climate-altering emissions is universal, as is respect for human rights or equal gender opportunities. Companies that consider themselves sustainable cannot disregard these global goals.

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