cfo-as logo
Story image

Businesses need greater clarity on sustainability reporting

18 Sep 2019

Sustainability is now a mainstream concern for organisations and their stakeholders, but they require clarity and guidance on sustainability reporting standards and practices.

An Intertek survey of UK firms found that investors, regulators, government, employees and the wider public now expect more from organisation – something that’s recognised by 74% of c-suite executives.

Additionally, 83% of survey respondents agree that government and politicians are taking sustainability performance improvements seriously; 79% believe employees are becoming more aware of the issue; and 83% of the general public are also doing so.

"The world is changing at the speed of light in multiple directions, increasing the complexity of companies' operations and in response, stakeholders are seeking genuine reassurance that corporations take an end-to-end sustainability approach across their entire value chain,” comments Intertek CEO André Lacroix.

However, organisations’ value chains can often span multiple countries, with different inherent risks at each level.

According to the survey, 65% of respondents find it difficult to understand the supply chain beyond those with whom they are in direct contact. Furthermore, 57% simply do not know how to assess relationships with companies in their supply chain.

Through this lack of knowledge, 76% of respondents believe their organisations are taking on extra risk by not assessing their entire supply chain.  Almost all respondents (90%) admitted that some parts of their supply chains would receive a poor sustainability report if they were audited in depth.

To deal with this problem, three quarters of respondents say they would benefit from a simplified audit programme that could benchmark and assess their company’s sustainability footprints.

 Lacroix continues, "C-suite decision-makers recognise there are greater demands from all angles to improve their sustainability performance and disclosures and our research shows that 71% believe there are currently too many reporting standards. This is the paradox facing executives, as they need a way to authenticate the sustainability they are building into the fabric of their businesses.”

"With supply chains becoming ever more complex, the importance of managing risk at every level has only grown in importance. In short, companies want a better way to navigate the multitude of reporting standards that exist and evidence their commitment to end-to-end sustainability as a corporation."

The research with UK companies was conducted online by FTI Consulting from 30 August to 3 September 2019 with 550 business leaders. Respondents were profiled by size (SME and large companies), industry and type of company (private or publicly listed).

Story image
COVID-19: Adobe unveils index to track changes in consumer behaviour
In an effort to track and analyse the ways in which the pandemic is changing retail behaviour, Adobe has revealed its Digital Economy Index, which analyses trillions of online transactions across 100 million product SKUs in 18 product categories. More
Story image
COVID-19 employment engagement surveys released
Free templates for emergency response employment engagement surveys have been created to help support organisations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. More
Story image
Kubernetes 101: Tips and tricks to maximise container investment
Monitoring the Kubernetes control plane and master components is essential when it comes to maximising the ROI of container investments. More
Story image
You're virtually invited: How the smartest organisations manage Office 365 and Microsoft Teams
If you’re starting your digital transformation journey or want to find out more about how you can boost your Office 365 productivity, this is your chance to take advantage of expert advice - free.More
Story image
Deep learning seeing widespread adoption in APAC region
As a sub-category of machine learning, deep learning is fast becoming part of mainstream AI deployments – new software to join the likes of Siri, Alexa and Cortana is currently being developed and will likely be introduced in the next few years, says GlobalData. More
Story image
74% of CFOs want staff to work from home permanently - Gartner
The report revealed that 74% CFOs and finance leaders intend to move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19.More