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Reporting matters study sees promising step towards more robust reporting on global issues

  • WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) Image

Oct 23, 2018

On October 23, 2018, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released its 2018 edition of Reporting matters, annual review of member companies’ sustainability and integrated reports.

This year’s report aims to show how companies are linking reporting and decision-making through three topic-specific addendum reports focused on climate change, water and human rights.

Key findings from Reporting matters 2018

The main Reporting matters publication continues to provide good-practice examples as well as general trends and benchmarks over the past five years. This is particularly useful to business because insights can be shared across sectors for collective improvement.

Highlights include:

Reporting is improving

  • 82% of member companies in our benchmark have improved their overall scores since baseline year 2014; 37% have improved their materiality score in this timespan.

The state of SDG reporting

  • 89% of reports reviewed acknowledge the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in some way; 53% map their sustainability strategy to relevant SDGs and provide some evidence of activities.

The state of integrated reporting

  • 33% of reports reviewed combine financial and non-financial information, up from 22% in 2014; 18% are self-declared integrated reports.

The state of GRI reporting

  • 83% of reports reviewed reference the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI); 54% have already transitioned to the GRI Standards launched in October 2016.

Governance is improving

  • 39% of the 115 companies in our sample with ESG data on Bloomberg Terminals have links between sustainability performance and executive remuneration.

The future is digital

  • Only 20% of reports reviewed provide a digital-first experience; but 53% of member companies include the bulk of their report content online to complement their PDF report (2017: 44%).

Review the press release and report on the WBCSD's website.

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