Corporate Sustainability Reporting on the Rise: KPMG Study

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Corporate sustainability reporting among large companies around the world is on the rise. As many as 93 percent of the world’s biggest 250 companies now publish corporate responsibiity (CR) reports annually. That’s according to a new report by KPMG that reveals a surge in such reporting in the U.S. and other countries.

KPMG has been monitoring trends in corporate sustainability reporting for the last two decades. The trends indicate that the percentage of the largest U.S. companies producing these reports has grown from 74 percent to 86 percent between 2008 and 2013. Globally, the biggest surge in reporting has occurred in the Asia Pacific region, where the percentage of companies producing CR reports has jumped from 49 percent in 2011 to 71 percent in 2013.

The growth trend is also visible in the segment of companies using third-party audits of their reports. 59 percent of the largest 250 companies are now using third-party audits. KPMG says that the trend of companies looking at a deeper integration of CR into their business strategy and management processes is now more noticeable. Top managements are increasingly relying on third-party audits as a way to provide external confidence in CR information and demonstrating their resolve to report accurate CR data.

Climate change and other environmental challenges are now viewed not only as risks but also as opportunities to make a difference to the planet’s sustainability. 72 percent of the companies in the KPMG survey said that they see an opportunity to drive innovation in the form of new products and services. 51 percent of the companies see the prospect of enhanced brand and corporate reputation.

Challenges, however, still remain in terms of the quality of reporting. KPMG gave the top 250 companies an average score of 59 out of 100 in this area. This score was awarded on the basis of a company’s ability to demonstrate a superior understanding of the impact of social and environmental issues on their business and reporting on their strategy, performance and interaction with stakeholders.

Source: Green Biz

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