• Register
Return to: Home > News > Standards > Sustainability reporting improves overall but balancing requirements with stakeholder needs remains a challenge

Sustainability reporting improves overall but balancing requirements with stakeholder needs remains a challenge

Progress has been made in sustainable corporate reporting and disclosure, but there is rising pressure to balance stakeholder needs with the increased disclosure requirements, according to research from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The 2017 Reporting Matters research looked at 157 sustainability reports from WBCSD member companies across 20 sectors and 35 countries and found that 74% improved in their overall score compared to 2013. Although, there are actually less reports entitled sustainability reports (41%) than there were in 2013 (57%), reports are compliant with more disclosure requirements, including for voluntary disclosure.

Examples of best practice and benchmarks for the past five years were provided, such as the GRI guidelines and standards which are still the most widely used, being cited by 85% of the member companies and 18% have already adopted the new GRI Standards. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations were outlined as a driver of increased climate change reporting.

In terms of combining financial and non-financial information, 34% said that they currently do so, an increase from 23% in 2013, and 22% cited the Integrated Reporting Framework in their reports. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was acknowledged by 79%, and 45% said that they align strategy with goal level criteria. Additionally, 44% go beyond a PDF report and include online content, up from 23% in 2014.

WBCSD CEO and president Peter Bakker said: “There is clear progress towards transformative change. The trend toward online and integrated reporting is moving non-financial reporting further into the mainstream – positioning sustainability at the heart of corporate governance, financial and risk management.”

Top Content

    Brazil: regulation and technology form basis for recovery

    Opportunities in the capital markets and the ever-growing influence of technology are expected to have a significant impact on the Brazilian accounting profession over the next 12 months, writes Paul Golden.

    read more

    Mentoring support and the opportunity to delegate

    Jon Lisby will be known to many from his former role as CEO of Kreston International. Here, he explains the background to his new venture, Global Alliance Advisory Services (GAAS), and how he aims to offer support to alliance CEOs.

    read more

    Global by name, global by nature

    Stephen Heathcote became chief executive officer of PrimeGlobal on 1 June 2019. Robin Amlôt met him to discuss the various new challenges that he has taken on, and his ambitions for the association.

    read more

    ARGA team, assemble!

    The new top team has been named that will see in root-and-branch reform at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as it transforms into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Will the new duo be as dynamic as some are hoping? Robin Amlôt reports.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.