• Sustainability reporting on the rise

One-third of businesses now issue CSR and sustainability reports

A global survey of 3,300 businesses in 44 economies finds that nearly one-third now issue corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability information, either in their financial reports or in separate reports, and that a clear majority believe the information should be reported. The survey was conducted as part of the quarterly Grant Thornton International Business Report, now in its 22nd year. 

“We believe that more and more companies will choose to report CSR and sustainability issues, and also choose to integrate this information into their financial report,” said Ed Nusbaum, Grant Thornton global CEO. “Businesses are seeing the value in “connecting the dots” between its environmental, social, human resource, governance and financial performance, which will deliver more meaningful information to its stakeholders.” 

The number of businesses reporting CSR and sustainability is now 31%, up from 25% two years earlier. Reporting is greatest in India (69%), Viet Nam (64%), the Netherlands (64%) the Philippines (60%) and Mexico (52%). Conversely, Estonia (6%), Poland (12%), New Zealand (16%) Finland (18%) and Australia (19%) are countries with the lowest amounts of businesses reporting. 

Overall, 57% of businesses believe CSR and sustainability should be integrated into financial reports, up from 44% two years earlier. Support is strongest in India (89%), the Philippines (86%), Peru (84%) and Brazil (77%). Support was weakest in Estonia (18%), Sweden (19%), Latvia (26%), Lithuania (37%) and Japan (38%). 

Within the next five years, an additional 12% think they will probably report CSR and sustainability, and another 14% said it was possible. The countries with the greatest interest going forward are Mexico (73%), Turkey (71%), Peru (69%), Brazil (66%) and the Philippines (61%). Only a small percentage of businesses in Sweden (2%), Hong Kong (6%), Italy (9%), Norway and Germany (12%) plan to report. 

“One approach suggested by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is to structure this report around the company’s business model and the six capitals (financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural) that an organisation uses and affects,” said Nusbaum. “The use of the capitals is a means of connecting the financial and CSR performance of the company in an organised way that may be comparable from company to company and period to period. The benefit of this more integrated reporting is that it better allows the company to describe and measure the values it creates and hopes to create in the future. It ties together discrete activities and investments with value creation.” 

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 John VitaDirector, public relations and external affairs, +1 312 602 8955