COVID-related ESG content remains around the 25% mark, and several times in the past month has narrowed to only 22% of the total.
The Truvalue COVID-19 Signals remain at levels far below those during the Spring 2020 spike in cases, with the Labor Signal and Supply Chain Signal near lows. This demonstrates that while COVID-19 remains a key social and political issue, after many months of learning, businesses are operating in an environment where expectations have stabilized and risks are better understood, as they pertain to employees and operations.
Although the SASB categories of Labor Practices and also Employee Health and Safety have long led the 26 categories in COVID-related content, in the past two months they have yielded the top position to Access & Affordability. As with Truvalue’s COVID signals, this shows businesses understanding, if not solving, COVID-related issues. Access & Affordability’s firm grip on about 1/5th of COVID-related data volume shows the public concern with access to treatments and a hoped-for vaccine.
Social Dimension data averaged 40% of total volume in the first 10 weeks of the year before COVID-19 made its full-blown global debut. Social peaked at ~60% of volume in the spring, and has since returned to ~40% levels for the past three months, demonstrating an ability to bounce off a floor in the upper 30s, and showing a continued grasp on its long-time lead within ESG data.
Since our last update two weeks ago, Europe’s new confirmed COVID cases nearly doubled, reaching weekly total of 827,436. The US isn’t far behind, setting a 12-week high in new cases. For both, COVID-related conversation related to companies remains at ~25% of all company coverage.
The ratio of COVID-related content to non-COVID content was highest for healthcare industries this week, which claimed the top 5 spots, lead by Drug Retailers and Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals.
Dr Reddy's again shows up in the companies with the highest COVID-19 Response Signal, as it was reported to plan a Stage 3 trial of a cancer drug that may help COVID patients. Dr Reddy’s sentiment may take a hit in subsequent installments of the Coronavirus Monitor, as after the end of this data period, a data breach was reported that is impeding its work.
Continuing with a focus on racial equality, we again highlight key recent Spotlight Events. This week, racial justice-related data shows banks stepping up on diversity and racial justice, with HSBC vowing to double its senior Black staff, and TCF Bank promising $1 billion in loans to minority and women-owned small businesses.