07 Dec 2023 1 min read

Are companies really making long-term progress on ESG? We crunched the numbers to find out

By Ayah Habboub

Our landmark whitepaper draws on 14 years of data to provide unique insights into ESG progress, broken down by regions, sectors and themes.


How have companies’ long-term ESG scores changed over the past decade and a half? Which regions and sectors have seen the greatest improvements, and which are lagging behind?

To answer these questions, LGIM’s Index Solutions team, together with colleagues in Investment Stewardship, has published a whitepaper, drawing on almost a decade and a half of ESG data to reveal the leaders and laggards.

Measurable progress

At the global aggregate level, the research demonstrates that there is much to celebrate. Between 2009 and 2023 global aggregate ESG scores surged 50%,1 reflecting the broader global movement towards sustainable business practices.

And the pace of ESG progress is accelerating. In the last five years, the ESG overall score has increased by around 19%.2

Diving into the detail

However, aggregate numbers don’t tell the whole story. Our whitepaper reveals the very different trajectories of different regions, and the sometimes surprising story behind the sectors that are driving positive change.

The whitepaper also explores the role of the changing composition of the underlying equity index (for example, the rising weight in the index of the tech sector, which typically has favourable ESG scores), and provides data on an equal-weighted index to control for this.

We’ve also considered the road ahead, exploring how the improving availability of data is seeking to help investors make increasingly informed decisions.

Read the whitepaper to discover the full story.


1. Source: LGIM as at September 2023.

2. Ibid.

Ayah Habboub

Index Researcher

Ayah works on index strategy and research within LGIM’s Index Solutions Team. She joined LGIM in 2022 after obtaining a MSc in FinTech from The University of Edinburgh. Prior to that, she has worked as a FinTech intern at iKindi Inc. and as a Machine Learning research intern at UCL. Ayah is driven by a passion for quantitative analysis and in her spare time, she develops her filmmaking skills.

Ayah Habboub