Research reports

Our research is the foundation of ACSI’s work. We produce high-quality, evidence-based research on material ESG issues important to long-term investors.

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Moving from paper to practice: ASX200 reporting under Australia’s Modern Slavery Act

The research finds that most companies complied with the minimum requirements of modern slavery reporting, with clear groups of leaders and laggards within the ASX200. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given this is the first year of reporting, the majority of statements appearing to follow a ‘race to the middle’ approach (seeking to satisfy the legal requirements of the MSA without disclosing more than key peers). The research identifies areas where reporting can be improved and covers the practical steps businesses have taken to mitigate modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains.

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CEO Pay in the ASX200

Now in its 20th year, the research analyses data published by companies for the 2020 financial year, and is the first to reflect the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on company performance and remuneration outcomes.

Australia’s largest companies have mostly shown discipline and restraint in unprecedented circumstances. The research finds that pay outcomes for CEOs at Australia’s leading companies fell to their lowest levels in more than a decade in the 2020 financial year, and almost one third of ASX100 CEO’s received no bonus in the past financial year.

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Equality across the board: Investing in workplaces that work for everyone

The research report was undertaken by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), led by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, and commissioned by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors. It outlines the state of sexual harassment reporting in Australia’s largest companies and provides eight recommendations to support the prevention of sexual harassment, and appropriate management of any incidents. The research provides an in depth look at how companies are responding to sexual harassment with 59% of ASX200 companies participating in the research survey. Along with quantitative data, the report draws from in depth interviews with 16 ASX200 companies and desktop research.
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ESG Reporting Trends in the ASX200

ACSI’s 14th iteration of it’s ESG Reporting Trends in the ASX200 report is now available. This report assesses the quality of ESG reporting by ASX200 companies, covering a broad range of financially material ESG risks and opportunities. ACSI’s study, and accompanying letter to boards explaining each company’s rating, has helped support the evolution of ESG reporting, accelerating the number of companies providing high quality ESG disclosures to investors.
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Governing company culture: Insights from Australian directors

ACSI has collaborated with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) on our latest research report "Governing company culture: Insights from Australian directors". This report is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between investors and directors to understand how culture is overseen, assessed and influenced in ASX listed companies, and understand what information is currently available to investors. The research draws on interviews with experts and senior directors of ASX50 companies to provide perspectives on company culture from inside the boardroom supplemented by desktop analysis of public disclosures. It also provides directors with practical guidance about overseeing, assessing and influencing company culture.
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Financial Materiality and ESG

Institutional investors have a responsibility to act in the best interests of their members. This includes acting to enhance the long-term value of the savings entrusted to them to manage. Investors can help protect and enhance investments over the long term through the consideration of ESG risks in their investment decision-making processes. This report provides a summary of the research and analysis undertaken over many years on the financial benefits of managing ESG risks and opportunities.
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