Corporate responsibility (CR) reporting is now standard for large and mid-cap companies across the world – but Ireland’s performance, while improving, needs further development in some key areas, especially in terms of acknowledging climate change risk and reporting on carbon reduction targets.
The survey provides a detailed look at global trends in CR reporting and insights for business leaders, company boards, and CR and sustainability professionals. It is designed to offer guidance on good practice to corporate professionals who assess and prepare their own organisation's CR reporting. It also serves as a guide to investors, asset managers and ratings agencies who now factor environmental, social and governance (ESG) information into their assessments of corporate performance and risk.
That is the main finding for Ireland in KPMG International’s biennial survey of corporate responsibility and sustainability reporting by nearly 5000 top companies and organisations worldwide, The Road Ahead: The KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2017 (PDF 3.0MB).
The survey found that just one quarter of Ireland’s top 100 companies report on carbon reduction targets, compared to a global average of 50%.
Findings also show that almost three quarters (72%) of large and mid-cap companies worldwide do not acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their annual financial reports, with just 26% of Irish companies doing so.
More positively, the report shows that corporate responsibility reporting in Ireland’s top companies has increased by 8% over the past 2 years, from 70% to 78%, but falls behind the average reporting rate of other Western European countries such as the UK (99%), France (94%), and Spain (87%).
Speaking about the results, Caroline Pope, Head of Sustainability Services, KPMG, said: “As we deal with the aftermath of ex-Hurricane Ophelia in Ireland it is disappointing to see that Irish companies are falling behind in terms of acknowledging climate change risks. It is, however, encouraging to see that there has been an increase in the level of corporate responsibility reporting from Ireland’s top 100 companies, a trend which we expect will continue in the coming years.
“The disclosure of social, environmental and diversity information is an obligation for many companies under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, but this information is being increasingly demanded of companies of all sizes by investors and other stakeholders. Our advice to Irish companies is to stay ahead of the game in terms of communicating information, beyond the financial statements, in order to guard against potential reputational and commercial damage.” concluded Caroline.