World's Top Companies Integrate Financial and Sustainability Data

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – There is a growing trend among large companies to include corporate responsibility information in their financial reports. The vast majority (78 percent) of the world’s top companies (G250) now do this, indicating that they believe CR data is relevant for their investors.

This encouraging trend is one of the highlights in the KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2017. The survey, which covered CR and sustainability reporting from 4,900 companies in 49 countries, provides a close look at global trends in CR reporting and insights for business leaders, company boards, and CR and sustainability professionals.

For the first time in the 10-year history of the survey, more than 60 percent of companies across all industry sectors are reporting on CR. The four lagging sectors identified in KPMG’s 2015 survey – Healthcare; Transport & Leisure; Industrials, Manufacturing & Metals; and Retail – have all shown increases in CR reporting in 2017. More than two-thirds of companies in all sectors except Retail now report on their CR performance.

According to Katherine Blue, Partner, Sustainability Services at KPMG, three key factors have driven growth in the US in CR reporting and the attendant increase in companies including CR information in their annual reports. The most significant has been investor and shareholder interest in sustainability, which is forcing companies who have not previously reported to start practicing this kind of disclosure.

Secondly, companies are required to carry out climate change-related disclosure in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. More companies are complying with this, particularly as the risk from climate change becomes ever clearer. Lastly, the influential Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) publishes industry-specific Sustainability Accounting Standards that advise what CR disclosures organizations should include in their mandatory financial SEC filings.

The survey also reveals another positive global trend. Around three quarters of company reports (73 percent) across the 49 countries recognize human rights as a corporate responsibility issue the company needs to address. This rises to nine out of ten reports (90 percent) in the G250 group of companies.

KPMG’s Global Head of Sustainability Services, José Luis Blasco, said that it is not only employees, communities and NGOs who take an interest in corporate responsibility and sustainability issues. Investors are also increasingly aware that topics previously considered “non-financial” can have a material impact on a business’ ability to build and protect value.

Source and Image: KPMG

JM Image10