Corporate Transparency And Sustainability
Companies are beginning to publicly disclose more sustainability data, according to Corporate Counsel. In 2011, for example, roughly 20 percent of all S&P 500 firms provided a corporate social responsibility or sustainability report. However, in 2014, the number of firms that chose to provide that information jumped to 75 percent. Part of the reason for this climb is that investors often want this information to be available—the data can then help inform their future investments.
However, according to The Wall Street Journal, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to making corporate sustainability data more readily available and easy to understand. Corporate investors say that the sustainability information they’re provided with is challenging to compare between firms, and the info doesn’t fit neatly with corporate forecasts.
Mary Schapiro, former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, noted during a Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit in November that, “We know investors care about this information.” But she also noted that many investors have come to be “highly dissatisfied with the information they’re getting today” and she added that these investors “can’t really use it effectively for their allocation decisions.” That’s why the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, vice chaired by Schapiro, is working towards creating industry standards regarding reporting corporate environmental and sustainability data. By doing this, the Board hopes to standardize corporate sustainability reporting, making it much easier for investors to access the sustainability information they require.
Corporate sustainability is important, but understanding how or to what ends a company gives back is also critical too. As corporate sustainability continues to become more popular, transparency and easy-to-comprehend sustainability reporting will only become more readily available.
Good360 is ahead of the trend. For the last 34 years, Good360 has provided its partners with detailed reporting on annual charitable product giving amongst the firms and nonprofits we work with. Much of this data actually ends up in annual CSR reporting. If you’d like to learn more about Good360 and how it helps companies with their charitable efforts, then click here.