Sustainability and corporate responsibility reporting are set to become the norm for businesses over the next few years, as many companies globally will follow the lead of European businesses and place more importance on green issues, according to the new KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting.
The annual KPMG survey gathered data from the reports of over 3,400 companies from 34 countries worldwide, including the 250 biggest businesses in the world (G250). Figures showed that 95% of the G250 produce corporate responsibility reports. Of the remaining 5% who are yet to start reporting on such issues, two in three are based in the US, Accounting Web reports.
KPMG analysts comment that corporate responsibility has become a key issue for the world´s largest businesses and can no longer be seen as just a moral duty. In fact, nearly half of the G250 report profit directly linked to their corporate responsibility activities, suggesting that thinking about responsibility and demonstrating it is not just responsible but also lucrative.
Among the most powerful stimuli that make companies focus on corporate responsibility reporting are brand reputation, cited by 67% of the G250, and ethical concerns, mentioned by 58%. Large, publicly held corporations are most likely to engage in sustainability reporting activities, with 70% of G250 doing so, partly because they face a greater level of scrutiny.
According to the survey, four in five businesses that report on sustainability matters do so using the general guidelines issued by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). However, less than half of them use external reviewing for their reporting.