FRIDAY 23 OCT 2009 8:00 AM


Companies are paying mere “lip service” to environmental sustainability in their corporate reporting, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report.

The study of FTSE 350 companies predicts investors will respond by demanding evidence of green thinking in the future.

PwC found only 31% align sustainability measures with their key performance indicators, and many are reticent to provide about their “key dependencies”.

“Although the number of companies aligning their sustainability objectives with strategic goals has increased, many companies appear to pay lip service to this are of reporting,” said David Phillips, PwC’s senior corporate reporting partner.

He went onto say: “You can spot those reports that are produced by a compliance process or by an editorial committee, versus those companies who have taken a much more top down approach to it… and put some personal input and character into it.  What the investors want is just good data and, if I’m honest, financial reporting today doesn’t give them that".

The report found there’s room for improvement across FTSE 350 companies when it comes to narrative reporting. The Financial Reporting Council is preparing new guidance on narrative reporting likely to be released by the end of the year.