Mining group Anglo American, energy company Centrica and finance group HSBC Holdings have been named the European companies with the year’s best records of sustainability reporting, in an assessment by communications agency Radley Yeldar.
The top five European reporters are rounded out with drinks company Diageo and technology firm Siemens, according to How Does It Stack Up?
This year’s study analyzes corporate sustainability reports from 35 of Europe’s best sustainability reporters drawn from the FTSE Eurotop 100 index, Radley Yeldar says.
The best sustainability reports, according to RY, show how sustainability is making a tangible difference to the business and detail “the good, the bad and the ugly” side of a company’s sustainability efforts. Good reports also display information in a clear and concise manner and back narrative claims with evidence, letting sustainability data speak for itself, RY says.
The best reporters are “saying more with less,” the communications agency says.
RY says sustainability reporting has reached a crossroads, both as a piece of communication and a management tool. But in a year marked by high-profile ethical blunders and corporate scandals, the role of the sustainability report has been brought into question. This year’s research showed a mix of positive developments and concerning findings, the agency says.
Radley Yeldar says that while crucial narratives are being obscured by box ticking and standard disclosures, the wider use of Global Reporting Initiative guidelines and other external assurances is encouraging.
In February, GRI denied claims that G4 – its new reporting guidelines – will impose a greater burden on companies. GRI said that the new guidelines will require companies only to provide disclosures and indicators relevant to their business. The reporting company itself will determine what indicators to report, GRI said.