Weekly Highlights September 30, 2014 Weekly Highlights September 30, 2014
Oct 2, 2014 10:00 AM ET

Corporate Sustainability Reporting is on the Rise But is the Disclosure Falling Short of Expectations?

 From the land Down Under comes a brief but interesting commentary about the rise of corporate sustainability reporting, which was once of interest (as the author says) on the fringe of institutional investors’ interest, but now common practice among listed companies.
But is the reporting – the disclosure – the level of transparency – meeting the expectations of stakeholders in terms of quality and consistency?  In general, we are told “no.”  There are differing motivations among the corporations making disclosures. The focus is on Australian public companies and the practices of major companies in that nation.  We could apply the views of author Ronald Slew to companies in other countries, when it comes to discussion of carbon emissions or worker safety or energy sources --  and comparisons year-to-year (progress or not?).  (Mr. Slew looked at sustainability reports in the construction industry.) 

What also caught our attention as we scanned for news this week was that this commentary originated on “The Conversation” web platform,  so this week’s Top Story is a “re-broadcast” by Phys.Org, a platform created in 2004 by a group of Australian universities. The Conversation content is read by 2 million readers – 80% from a non-academic or research background and mainly in high income brackets. Phys.Org separately reaches another 1.75 million scientists, researchers and engineers. Both platforms state that a sizable number of readers follow content from outside Australia, where both are based.

Which demonstrates the broad reach of web-based publishing platforms aiming specialized and general content at an educated, influential audience interested in such (once) arcane topics as corporate sustainability and related disclosure and reporting.  Corporate reporting is attracting attention – and the corporate approaches to such reporting are also examined more now for interested stakeholders.

Top Story of the Week

Sustainability Reporting Falling Short
(Wednesday - September 24, 2014)
Source: - But the quality and consistency of sustainability reporting remains a problem, with some companies distorting their reporting to highlight positive news. Despite the sector being driven by the needs of socially responsible...

Featured Report

RepRisk Releases Special Report on Indigenous Communities  
(Thursday - September 25, 2014)
Source: RepRisk - Zurich – RepRisk, the leading provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, has released its latest Special Report on Indigenous Communities and the ESG issues that are impacting these...

Sustainability in Focus

Reporting Supply Chain Sustainability: a Myriad of Metrics
(Friday - September 26, 2014)
Source: Guardian - Surveys of corporate disclosure practices consistently find that more than 90% of the world’s largest 250 companies now publicly report on aspects of their sustainability performance. However, improving overall performance...

This is just a sample of some of the articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights.  You can view the full Highlights by using the following links. Sustainability | ESG, Highlights for the Week of September 30, 2014