Research Project | 2023

2023 Open for Good Transparency Index

The mission of the Open for Good‘s initiative is to provide transparent, unbiased, and accessible insights into corporate sustainability.

In the last decade, we have seen an encouraging shift by business to prioritize not only financial measures of success, but also social and environmental ones. Along with this shift, businesses have begun disclosing large amounts of information on their environmental, social, and governance performance. These disclosures are voluntary, and there is no universal standard for what or how firms disclose information, creating difficulties for stakeholders trying to compare firms and understand impacts. We began the Open for Good initiative to provide a resource companies, investors, researchers, and the general public can use to better understand how firms are performing on transparency.

Focusing on the S&P 500, Open for Good collects publicly disclosed sustainability information that can be found in company reports, websites, and regulatory filings. Using a set of metrics that cover environmental, social, and governance issues, we assess whether each company has disclosed relevant information and what information they disclose.

Corporate sustainability disclosure is not equivalent to sustainability performance. Nonetheless, we consider it a vital first step towards promoting positive change. The Open for Good Transparency Index builds on our 2022 report, The State of Corporate Sustainability Disclosure, that examined the disclosures of 300 of the largest US businesses. In that report, we found that just under half of the metrics were disclosed on average. Those findings led us to investigate what firms were leaders in disclosure, and to create our first Transparency Index.