Investors Want to Know More About CSR Performance

Why sustainability should be your CFO's top priority
May 20, 2013

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a new and advanced approach to assess the vitality of companies. It is becoming increasingly relevant for the in-depth evaluation of investment and development opportunities.

The Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) Listing Standards Drafting Committee recently published a consultation paper: Proposed Sustainability Disclosure Listing Standard for Global Stock Exchanges.\"

The committee, comprised of investors who were increasingly frustrated by the lack of CSR disclosure and inconsistent data, requested the introduction of disclosure requirements into the rules for listing companies on U.S. and global stock exchanges.

Faced with the uncertain evolution of the global financial crisis, investors are now looking to evaluate not only the short-term financial performance of companies, but also their real viability. Investors look at companies’ abilities to grow in the context of new challenges and manage new risks generated by a fast-changing world.

While some exchanges have begun introducing CSR listing requirements, there is a general consensus that an international standard framework is needed. It would encourage companies to re-evaluate their CSR strategy and the way their performance is reported. As a result, an international standard framework would greatly benefit the investment community.

The committee proposes the following disclosures by companies as part of the standard framework:

  • Materiality assessment in annual financial reports where companies discuss their approaches for determining CSR issues that directly impact the business and the outcomes of that assessment
  • Sustainability table of disclosures that links the annual financial report to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Index, so investors can determine if key CSR information is available, and if so, where
  • Improved corporate CSR disclosure, whereby companies provide reporting on a \"comply or explain\" basis for eight key CSR categories

Asset owners and managers are asked to review and comment on the paper’s recommendations by May 2013. The feedback will be used to refine and subsequently roll out the framework in association with global stock exchanges and the World Federation of Exchanges.

To help companies showcase their true value, Wdesk provides a complete solution to streamline and optimize the CSR report creation, production, and publishing processes. The CSR Reporting Solution enables multiple users to collaborate simultaneously on reports in the cloud-based platform, reducing the time and hassle required to bring the report together. This gives the CSR team more time to focus on telling the company’s story and sharing its vision.

For more information about the CSR Reporting Solution on Wdesk, schedule a demo.