A study of annual reports from stock-market listed companies across seven key G20 markets and countries as well as three out of four fast-growing BRIC economies shows corporate reporting in the leading economies showing little evidence of the long-term vision and integrated thinking which has underlined G20 discussions on sustainable economic growth.
The study was conducted by corporate reporting specialist Black Sun to provide input to the International Integrated Reporting Committee’s (IIRC) work in designing a new framework to enable all businesses to achieve the vision of integrated reporting.
Integrated reporting will bring together data relevant to the performance and impact of a company to create a more profound and comprehensive picture of the risks and opportunities a company faces, specifically in the context of the drive towards a more sustainable global economy.
Black Sun’s research shows companies recognising the need to express their value beyond the financial, but falling short of current good practice in how they link corporate responsibility to business strategy and evidence claims with facts.
The reports of 101 companies from G20 countries and regions were assessed against key criteria deemed to be critical to demonstrate integrated reporting.
Overall, less than 50% of reports in the G20 region were found to be meeting current integrated reporting good practice.
South African corporates, where the government has championed integrated reporting, were most successful at integrating and demonstrating the strategic importance to the business of non-financial goals and impacts, meeting on average 73% of the key criteria.
European G20 countries demonstrated above average levels of integration (54%), with businesses in Brazil (48%) and the Republic of Korea (41%) the next best at integrated reporting.
Corporates in the US, where reporting is tightly regulated and mandated, are only fulfilling 19% of the integrated reporting criteria.
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