It’s not always about the numbers.
According to a survey released by Big Five accounting firm KPMG, more companies are publishing reports on their environmental, social, and sustainability performance—and an increasing number are having these reports independently verified.
To be exact, 45 percent of the 250 largest companies in the world are issuing these nonfinancial-related reports, KPMG found.
KPMG’s corporate sustainability report was done in collaboration with the Graduate Business School of the University of Amsterdam.
Similar surveys were conducted in 1993, 1996, and 1999.
Here are some of the findings of the 2002 survey:
“The focus of these reports is shifting from the inclusion of only environmental performance to combined environmental, social, and economic reports, and an increasing number of reports are being externally verified,” according to KPMG’s report.
So why do corporate managers feel compelled to issue these separate reports?
Typically, to reduce operating costs and increase efficiency, develop new products, improve brand value, recruit and retain top-notch employees, and gain better access to capital, according to the report.
Coincidentally, earlier this week, the European Parliament endorsed a proposal that multinational companies assess the environmental and social impact of their businesses in their annual reports, according to published reports. The European Commission must pass legislation in order for these reports to become a requirement.