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News from Members Living in the age of transparency: sustainability reporting increasingly important for executives

Living in the age of transparency: sustainability reporting increasingly important for executives

by EY July 18, 2013

Website www.ey.com

95% of the top 250 companies worldwide release reports on corporate responsibility. Additionally, thousands of companies issue this kind of report and the number grows every year. More than two thirds of the respondent companies for the survey conducted by EY and Boston College in 2013 said that their organizations employ in the preparation of their reports the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework, the most complex and exhaustive guide for reporting sustainability. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of GRI reports grew, on average, more than 30% each year. At present, at least 44% of capital in stock markets worldwide is in exchanges that either mandate or encourage reporting.

Corporate reporting has a major impact on the company reputation and on increasing consumer loyalty and employee loyalty, directly affecting the financial results of companies. Also, more and more investors take into consideration this type of reports before the investment decision.

More than 50% of the EY and Boston College study respondents that issue sustainability reports say that this initiative has helped improve the company’s reputation. According to the State of Sustainable Business Poll 2011 study, increasing transparency and sustainability reporting are the two most important ways to build public trust in business.
More than 30% of the respondents of the EY and Boston College study declared that employee loyalty has increased as a result of corporate reporting by the company. The first three industries that enjoy these valuable benefits are: IT sector, healthcare and social services and professional services.

Consumer loyalty increase is also a positive result of corporate reporting. According to the same study, the industries that benefit the most from corporate reporting from this point of view are healthcare and social services, professional services and IT.
Another benefit of sustainability and corporate responsibility reporting is improved access to capital. Institutional investors prefer to invest in transparent companies. Also, financial analysts have a growing appetite for corporate responsibility reporting.
This type of reporting can help the company to better manage its resources and to forecast more accurately social risks and business environment aspects, thus creating a virtuous circle, with positive impact on business processes and company’s performance.

In Romania, according to the EY and CSRmedia.ro study CSR trends and realities in Romania, launched in May 2013, 63% of the responding companies have published reports or press releases about their corporate responsibility activity. 78% of the respondents declared that their company has a dedicated strategy on corporate responsibility, while 67% of them consider that general interest for this subject has increased during the last 12 months. Supporting this idea, more than 75% of the companies say they have an annual budget dedicated to corporate responsibility.
Ways that sustainability reporting provided major value

Source: EY and Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship study, 2013

About the study
The EY and Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship survey had 579 answers, of which 391 issued sustainability reports. The questionnaire was administered between February 26 and March 8, 2013. 49% of the respondents were listed companies, while 40% unlisted. 61% of the companies have global presence, the rest being active only in the United States market.

About EY
EY is one of the world's leading professional services firms with approximately 167,000 employees in 700 offices across 140 countries, and revenues of approximately $24.4 billion in 2012. Our network is the most integrated at global level and its vast resources allow us to help our clients benefit from every opportunity. In Romania, EY has been a leader on the professional services market since its set up in 1992. Our over 450 employees in Romania and Moldova provide seamless assurance, tax, transactions, and advisory services to clients ranging from multinationals to local companies. Our offices are based in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi and Chisinau. From 1 July 2013, Ernst & Young becomes EY, the logo has been modified in response to this change and the company's new tagline becomes "Building a better working world". For more information, please visit www.ey.com.

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