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The Business Support Services sector: Vigeo Eiris releases its exclusive research & opinion on emerging & strategic issues

This comprehensive new report presents Vigeo Eiris' analysis, ratings and rankings of the ESG performance-related trends and impacts of 198 listed companies in the global and highly diversified Business Support Services sector.

The main activities of this sector are Consultancy, Interim and Staffing, Distribution and Industrial Supply, Equipment and Vehicle Leasing.

The report provides Vigeo Eiris’ exclusive opinion on sector vulnerabilities, controversies and emerging risks, as well as strengths, innovations and best practice in terms of CSR.

The report highlights specific sector ESG challenges and emerging issues, as well as its disparate performance scores and indicators on critical issues such as energy transition, business ethics, due diligence on social and environmental risks in the supply chain, human capital and human rights, governance, executive remuneration, transparency on taxes, integrity of lobbying practices, the variable sustainability of its products & services, and the questionable degree of its contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Key Findings:
1. Vigeo Eiris gave an average overall score of 29 to companies in the Business Support Services sector on a scale of 0 to 100. Sector performance has declined by 1 point since our previous analysis in 2016. Constituent performance varies across the sector, ranging from weak to advanced levels.

2. The sector ranks 26th out of Vigeo Eiris’ total research universe of 4,500 companies.

3. Sector leaders are concentrated in Europe, whilst laggards are mostly listed in Emerging Markets and Asia Pacific.

4. With a disclosure rate of 52%, the Business Support Services Sector is below the overall universe average (54%) in terms of information and CSR reporting, with European companies being most transparent.

5. ESG risk mitigation scores are limited with regards to reputation and operational efficiency (34/100 and 33/100). The average level of our assurance regarding the sector’s capacity to preserve and enhance its human capital cohesion is weak (human capital risk mitigation: 23), mainly due to the weak levels of commitments in regard to issues such as social dialogue and working hours. In terms of management of risks affecting legal security, companies display a weak score (legal security risk mitigation: 26) that is below the universe average. This is linked to lack of commitments regarding prevention of anti-competitive practices and the presence of related allegations.

6. The capacity of the sector to tackle climate change and support the transition to a low-carbon economy remains weak (17/100). European companies lead the sector in efforts to integrate climate risk management into their underwriting.

7. The sector faces 81 controversies, most frequently relating to fundamental human and labour rights and health & safety.

o The Business Support Services sector achieves highest performance in the Corporate Governance domain, but this is still limited overall (CGV average domain performance: 43). However, most UK companies achieve an advanced performance.
o The Security and Guarding subsector is most controversial, given companies’ frequent involvement in human rights violations.
o Weak measures to protect data privacy and guarantee cybersecurity expose the sector to data breaches and lawsuits.
o Business ethics is an area for improvement within the sector, mostly due to a lack of transparency.

Best performing areas:
o Shareholders
o Audit and Internal Controls
o Board of Directors

Worst performing areas:
o Management of environmental impacts from transportation
o Respect and management of working hours
o Pollution Prevention and Control

Top Performing Companies:
o Europe: Infra Park (61/100)
o North America: Nielsen (45/100)
o Asia Pacific: Brambles (40/100)
o Emerging Markets: Estacio Participacoes (27/100)

Companies making best progress since 2017:
o Europe: Infra Park (+54)
o North America: Nielsen (+6)
o Asia Pacific: No progress
o Emerging Markets: Synnex Technology International (+12)

To view an excerpt of our 2018 Business Support Services sector report, download the document below

To enquire about accessing our sector reports, please contact the relevant team below:
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If you are a corporate entity:
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