WEDNESDAY 12 NOV 2008 2:22 PM


More companies than ever are embracing corporate responsibility reporting, a new study reveals.

Corporate responsibility information is now being released by 80% of the Global Fortune 250, either as standalone reports or integrated with annual financial reports, according to a report from accountant KPMG. That’s up from just 50% up when the firm last conducted its survey, in 2005.

The review reveals that about half of Global 250 firms have detected the business opportunities of corporate responsibility and report on the business value. One third of companies cited shareholder value as a driver for reporting.

The findings suggest that sustainability reporting is now a mainstream business issue for large companies. This year’s survey was expanded to probe the depth of stakeholder involvement in corporate responsibility strategy and reporting.

“We found stakeholder engagement is becoming more formalised,” said Wim Bartels, Global Head of KPMG’s Sustainability Services. “But there is still room for greater transparency about who stakeholders are and how their concerns are being addressed.”

The KPMG International Survey on Corporate Responsibility Reporting surveyed the Global Fortune 250 as well as the 100 largest companies by revenue in 22 countries. The latter group trails the Global 250 with an average of 45% issuing reports, but figures vary significantly between countries: less than 20% of large companies in Mexico and Czech Republic issue reports, compared with 90% in Japan and the UK.

Drilling down further, the survey examined key topics in reporting such as corporate governance, supply chain, and climate change. It found that while 92% disclose a code of conduct or ethics, less than 60% report on non-compliance with it; and over 90% have a supply chain code of conduct, but only half give details of how it is implemented and monitored.