Some companies may not be aware that since February, their Yahoo Finance web page includes a separate tab with the ESG scores from Sustainalytics. The Sustainalytics quote page shows a company’s numerical rating for three categories, environment, social and governance, along with the overall ESG score. Scores range from 1 to 100.
There is also a graphic representation of the score that, according to the press release from Sustainalytics, will be tracked against the average in each category and plotted over time. The graph, currently reflecting data from 2014 to now, is intended to display trends of how a company ranks against industry peers.
The page also has a chart highlighting “product involvement areas,” which reflects whether the company’s business includes products or issues such as alcoholic beverages, gambling, animal testing, controversial weapons, Catholic values, military contracting, coal and palm oil. In addition, a graph in red denotes the company’s controversy level, ranging from 0 to 5.
It is unclear how much investors can glean from the summary data, as many large companies seem to fall within a mid-range. A quick study of the Dow 30 companies indicated that 18 were “average” performers in ESG ratings, while 10 companies were designated “outperformers” and two were “leaders.” Even for their controversy scores, five had “moderate” ratings, 16 were viewed to have “significant” controversies, eight companies had “high” ratings and only one, a pharmaceutical company, was deemed to have “severe” controversies.