S&P 500 Firms Expand Sustainability Data in Financial Filings, But Are Slow to Adopt Fully Integrated Reporting
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 14, 2018--Large public company sustainability reporting is maturing rapidly, with financial data presented alongside growing social and environmental metrics and quantified goals. But despite investor interest, most companies in the S&P 500 have not adopted fully integrated corporate reporting, a new report reveals.
“It’s significant progress that sustainability reporting is mainstream and that the majority of companies provide more relevant and quantified information,” said Jon Lukomnik, IRRCi executive director. “But investors still aren’t provided with a complete view of a company’s material environmental and social information, which would help investors make informed decisions.”
Lukomnik also noted that only 36 percent of these sustainability reports included external assurance. For 90 percent of these sustainability reports, the assurance was only partial and usually related to greenhouse gas emissions.
“Integrated reporting pushes the corporate disclosure envelope, but its early adopters are responding to a huge unmet demand in the investment world for quantified, material data to assess company strategies in our rapidly changing world,” said Heidi Welsh, Si2 executive director
Report author Sol Kwon, a senior consultant at Si2, observed, “Our report helps draw back the veil on what companies are actually doing, and explores why they increasingly look at environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics to find opportunity, not just risk.”
The report shows interest in integrated reporting is higher than ever, and that a sea of new reporting frameworks has raised investor expectations for companies and shaped their sustainability disclosures. Still, U.S. company reporters navigate the landscape in idiosyncratic ways; 97 percent customize rather than directly follow current frameworks from organizations such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council and the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board.
The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute is a nonprofit research organization that funds academic and practitioner research enabling investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders to make data-driven decisions. IRRCi research covers a wide range of topics of interest to investors, is objective, unbiased, and disseminated widely. More information is available at www.irrcinstitute.org.
The Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2), a non-profit research group, provides institutional investors with in-depth, impartial analysis of environmental and social policy shareholder resolutions at U.S. companies. It also conducts empirical research on emerging sustainability topics and corporate and investor responsibility issues. More about Si2 is at www.siinstitute.org.
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Kelly Kenneally | +1 202.256.1445 |firstname.lastname@example.org| @irrcresearch
KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA NEW YORK
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BANKING FINANCE
SOURCE: The Investor Research Responsibility Center Institute
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PUB: 11/14/2018 08:00 AM/DISC: 11/14/2018 08:01 AM