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How do Automakers perform on SDGs? Examining Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) performance of car manufacturers in the Americas, Asia, and Europe

Timely SDG data offers a view of automakers, a key industry for the global energy transition. Automakers in this cohort include all firms within FactSet’s RBICS Level 5 Industry of Car Manufacturers.

In this research brief we examine more than a decade of data applying the perspective of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to company performance on ESG topics.

That includes analysis of four key Goals for the industry over time, with a look at industry performance by region for Americas, Asia, and Europe:

The note also drills into specific Goals with examples of Toyota, GM, Audi, and Daimler:

Data from Truvalue Labs, a FactSet Company, tracks company performance that pertain to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, or Goals), as described in an introductory brief published in November. Unlike U.N. national goals, this dataset tracks corporate actions on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) topics and maps them to 16 Goals.

Algorithms identify ESG topics relevant to each Goal, and score companies for behavior.
Company scores can be rolled up to the regional or industry level to see the most-discussed issues
and how performance compares among regions or industries. Short-term scores are called Pulse
scores, while the Insight score measures longer-term performance.

Key Goals are identified using Dynamic Materiality – the percentage of total data volume tagged to
each Goal over a 12-month period. A Dynamic Materiality view for the cohort by region is shown in
the chart below.

Labelled series are the four most prolific Goals in more than a decade of data:

• Goal 16 – Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions – Spike in 2015 with Dieselgate, in which
Volkswagen and later other firms were discovered to be using defeat devices to cheat on
emissions testing, side-stepping regulation
• Goal 13 – Climate Action – Consistent leading issue for the industry
• Goal 8 – Decent Work & Economic Growth – Second-leading issue in 2019 and 2020 due to
strikes and labor issues
• Goal 3 – Health & Wellbeing – Spikes in discussion in 2010 and 2014 related to recalls

The note’s Outlook includes the biggest changes in Goal relevancy for individual automakers: In YTD 2020, among automakers with top-tier data volume, General Motors, Peugeot SA, and Maruti Suzuki India had the three largest increases in significance of a single goal

The full research brief is here:
Truvalue_SDG_Autos_Research_Brief.pdf (2.8 MB)