Sunday 23rd October 2016                 Change text size:

90% of investors say CSR and sustainability reports are ‘essential’

Photo: LordFerguson via Flickr

The overwhelming majority of investors believe corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability reports are “essential” for large companies, according to a survey.

Ninety per cent of respondents in a poll conducted by the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) subscribed to this view. Meanwhile, 85% said annual reports were similarly important.

The findings follow European commission proposals regarding non-financial reporting. It stated in April that the social and environmental transparency of certain large companies needed to be improved.

Current non-financial disclosure was seen as lacking by survey respondents, with 93% claiming that current investor information was difficult to compare between companies.

François Passant, executive director of Eurosif, said, “Looking at non-financial aspects of an investee company is becoming the new normal for investors.

In a world where 80% of a company’s value is derived from its intangibles, where value chains are more global, complex and lean, and where more and more investors are looking into how companies adapt to climate change, non-financial transparency cannot be seen as a burden or a tick-box exercise anymore but as a necessity.

The current [European commission] proposal is one that Eurosif therefore strongly supports overall as it represents a key milestone in this journey. It should be progressed without delay by the co-legislators.”

A survey by Gibbs & Soell in the US recently said that employees engaged in CSR practices in their jobs were likely to make sustainable choices at home. Meanwhile, another survey – this time by Hill+Knowlton Strategies – said the way a company communicates its sustainability practices positively affects its performance and reputation.

Further reading:

Ernst & Young report has sustainability at the top of corporate agendas

‘You want us to produce one of those corporate socialist reports?!’

CSR and sustainability practices found to boost public perception of firms

Reflections on a debate: has CSR reached its sell-by date?

Survey shows UK firms are getting complacent with supplier risks

The Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility 2013

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