The Local Authority Environmental, Social and Governance Ranking 2023

Clare King , 21 December 2023

Councils, whether they are district or county, are increasingly under scrutiny to provide data on environmental, social and governance (ESG) in their region. Local authorities looking to monitor sustainability progress, attract investments into the area, or identify where improvements are needed require robust, accurate, and up-to-date information about their local business ecosystem. 

We’ve integrated ESG signals into our platform data to help councils make these kinds of data-driven decisions. Figures can feel very abstract until you see them in action, so we’ve revealed three local authority rankings to offer a clearer picture of what ESG data can be used for. 

What ESG data do we track?

We introduced ESG signals to our dataset because they will soon become essential. ESG data provides vital insights that can drive growth, help mitigate risks and create a positive impact on the environment and society.

The ranking methodology

The purpose of this ranking is to provide a snapshot view of where each local authority ranks compares. We ranked local authorities by the number of active companies that hit one of the nine ESG signals. The businesses are all headquartered in the UK. This data was extracted from the Beauhurst platform in November 2023. 

What ESG data do we track?



Sustainable farming food production

Sustainable agriculture and food production activities, including alternative farming, natural pesticides and low-carbon meat or diary alternatives.


Green transport

Activities related to developing electric vehicles and their parts, infrastructure, and storage, as well as consulting in this space.


Clean and renewable energy

Companies involved in developing alternative or renewable energy sources, such as wind and tidal, including the manufacture of parts, developing storage solutions, or consulting.


Green building and infrastructure

Companies with pollution and waste management activities, such as air or noise pollution and recycling, as well as developing building technologies and infrastructure or focus on environmental consulting.


Environmental accolades

Companies with this signal have been backed by a fund, attended an accelerator, or featured in a high-growth list that has a positive environmental focus.

Social and governance


Age diversity

Companies hit this signal if the coefficient of variation of the board of directors is over 0.25, excluding companies with 1-2 active directors and those with directors under age 18 and over 100.


Gender pay equality

Companies achieve this signal if the difference between men and women’s average hourly pay is no greater than 5%.


Gender equality of directors

Companies hit this signal if the percentage of women directors is between 45% and 55%, excluding companies with less than two directors and where the gender is unknown.


Social accolades

Companies with this signal have either been backed by a fund, attended an accelerator, or featured in a high-growth list that has a social impact focus.

How many companies with ESG signals are in your local authority? Read on to find out.

Below, you can find three example local authority rankings, to give you a flavour of what data the ESG signals can reveal. The figures on the bar chart correspond with the number of companies that hit each ESG signal. For example, in Westminster local authority, there are currently 297 companies that have triggered our clean energy and renewable energy signal. 

Want more? Our book featuring every UK council is coming in 2024—sign up here

Helping councils to identify, monitor and report on:

Learn more about how BeauhurstImpact can help your local authority to leverage ESG data in your region. 

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Basildon Council

Basildon Council uses BeauhurstImpact to identify high-growth companies, secure funding, and build relationships