While the majority of companies now issue corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, they often omit any number of critical issues from these reports.
Almost three-quarters of large companies worldwide do not yet acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their annual financial reports, according to a new CSR study published by global consulting firm KPMG. The study is based on analyzed data from almost 5,000 companies.
Even companies that set carbon reduction targets are yet to align their targets with the targets set by governments or the UN, such as the 2°C Paris Agreement goal.
And human rights are recognized as a corporate responsibility issue that companies need to address. A clear majority of CSR reports now acknowledge the issue of human rights: around three-quarters of the N100 (73%) and nine out of ten (90%) in the G250.
The N100 refers to a worldwide sample of 4,900 companies comprising the top 100 companies by revenue in each of the 49 countries researched in this study. These N100 statistics provide a broad-based snapshot of CSR reporting among both large and mid-cap firms around the world. The G250 refers to the world’s 250 largest companies by revenue based on the Fortune 500 ranking of 2016. Large global companies are typically leaders in CSR reporting and their behavior often predicts trends that are subsequently adopted more widely.
However, the lack of a public human rights policy at many companies suggests there is still work to do, and only a minority of businesses are yet prepared to align themselves publicly with the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights.
It might not be surprising that CSR reporting is often tied to government regulations.
“Get ready for more reporting regulation because it is on the way,” says José Luis Blasco, global head of KPMG Sustainability Services. "Be clear that reporting integration is the new normal and “non-financial” is the new financial. Finally, remember that from here on in, it’s all about reporting your impact not just statistics.”
The report delves into a variety of aspects of CSR reporting both in the US and globally.