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Reporting on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the Largest Listed Companies in Eleven Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries; Second-Time Comparison with Peers in BRIC and Ukraine

Submitted by: Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program

Categories: Research, Reports & Publications

Posted: May 08, 2007 – 11:42 AM EST

 

May 8, 2007- Today, the Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program publishes its eighth semi-annual Survey of Reporting on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the Ten Largest Listed Companies (by market capitalization) in 11 Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries. This edition of the survey was co-financed by DWS Investments (Deutsche Bank Group). The funding of this project continues the numerous measures and initiatives in which Deutsche Bank puts the sustainability concept into practice. DWS Investments, an affiliate of Deutsche Bank Group, offers products that cater to different investors’ rising interest in sustainability products.

PFS Program Interns Magdalena Grabowska and Wojciech Stec as well as PFS Program Research Assistant Igor Solodovnik conducted the survey from March through May 2007.

Companies in Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia were surveyed for the eighth time; companies in Hungary and Poland were surveyed for the seventh time; and companies in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania were surveyed for the sixth time. Moreover, a second-time analysis of peer companies (the ten largest listed companies by market capitalization) in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) as well as Ukraine allows for benchmarking with these emerging market peers for the second time.

PFS Program surveys analyze the annual reports and websites of the ten largest listed companies in the above-mentioned 11 CEE countries in order to document the current disclosure practices of this “blue-chip” peer group and identify best practice among the peer group. Whereas the universe of companies surveyed may change over time due to changes in a company’s market capitalization, the semi-annual surveys of reporting on CSR represent a snapshot of this peer group’s CSR disclosure practices on a given day twice a year. Furthermore, by analyzing disclosures in both annual reports and websites, the surveys track the timing of the publication of the annual report and the related yet separate issue of periodic disclosure, namely, how blue-chip companies keep their websites data-rich and up-to-date. The surveys enable companies to benchmark their disclosure practices against peers on a national, industry and regional basis.

This survey analyzes companies’ disclosures in English (in the English-language annual report and on the English-language company website) during the time period March – April 2007 on the following three topics: corporate governance, environmental policy and social policy. The record date for the disclosures is April 15, 2007.

In Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland all 10 of the companies surveyed in each country have an English-language website. 94% of the 110 CEE companies surveyed have an English-language website. 85% of the 110 CEE companies surveyed have either a 2004, 2005 or 2006 English-language annual report online by April 15, 2007. (Comparison of disclosures in annual reports is not as relevant in the spring edition of this semi-annual survey, since as of April 15 many companies have not yet published their 2005 annual report online.) In general, companies in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia disclose the most information online.

This eighth semi-annual regional survey demonstrates a generally similar level of disclosure on company websites to that observed during the past four years across all three information categories analyzed: corporate governance, environmental policy and social policy. In general, companies provide more information on corporate governance than on environmental or social policy. Also, corporate governance codes continue to significantly impact reporting on corporate governance issues in certain countries. Several companies now issue separate/stand-alone reports on environmental, social and/or governance (ESG) issues. Of the 110 CEE companies surveyed, 19 (17%) have an English-language ESG report available online on April 15, 2007. This represents a significant increase (21%) since September 2006, when only 15% of the companies surveyed published such a report. In comparison, five Chinese, four Russian, four Brazilian and two Indian companies have English-language ESG reports available online.

Survey findings include the following:

  • 94% of the CEE companies surveyed have an English-language website on the record date of April 15, 2007 compared with 94% in September 2006, 87% in April 2006, 89% in September 2005 and 81% in April 2005. In contrast, 100% of the surveyed companies in BRIC and 60% of the Ukrainian companies surveyed have an English-language website.

  • Nine Polish, seven Czech and seven Slovene companies disclose implementation of a corporate governance code in their annual report.

  • 69% of the CEE companies surveyed disclose information on their governance structure in the company's annual report, compared with 75% in September 2006, 62% in April 2006 and 68% in September 2005. 88% of the BRIC companies surveyed and 20% of the Ukrainian companies surveyed provide this information.

  • 65% of the CEE companies surveyed disclose employee benefits or development policies in the (2004, 2005 or 2006) annual report currently available online, compared with 64% in September 2006, 42% in April 2006, 48% in September 2005, 37% in April 2005 and 42% in August 2004.

  • 49% of the CEE companies surveyed disclose information on compliance with environmental standards on their website, compared with 45% in September 2006, 37% in April 2006, 48% in September 2005, 41% in April 2005 and 37% in August 2004.

  • 26% of the CEE companies surveyed report on supply chain management on their website; this is the highest percentage recorded since the first survey conducted in summer 2003. In September 2006, only 10% of the companies surveyed provided this information online.

    Note: The survey consists of the three following documents: a report of the survey findings presenting data aggregated by country; a database of individual data by company for the ten largest listed companies in each of the 11 CEE countries; and a separate database of individual data by company for the ten largest listed companies in BRIC and Ukraine.

    Starting today, the survey is available online at:

    www.pfsprogram.org/capitalmarkets_research.php

    About the Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program

    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) established the Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program in 1999 as a public-private partnership to help complete reforms necessary to create sound, private and well-functioning financial sectors in the eight Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries that have since joined the European Union. In 2005, the geographical focus of the program shifted to South East Europe (SEE).

    East-West Management Institute (EWMI), a New York-based not-for-profit organization, is currently the primary implementing partner.

    The PFS Program is mandated to fill remaining gaps in the institutional development of the financial sector in CEE and SEE countries through regional integration and cooperation, selective technical assistance programs and the practical application of lessons learned in neighboring countries. The substantive areas covered under the PFS Program are: accounting, auditing, banking, capital markets, insurance and pension reform. For more information, please visit the PFS Program website at http://www.pfsprogram.org

    Contact:
    Geoffrey Mazullo
    Director
    Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program
    East-West Management Institute
    Email: gmazullo@pfsprogram.org
    Internet: http://www.pfsprogram.org

    About DWS Investments

    Deutsche Bank has entrusted the Asset Management business to two specialists: Deutsche Asset Management (DeAM), a market leader for institutional investment solutions and DWS Investments for mutual funds.

    DeAM is one of the world’s largest investment managers, with more than 700 investment and client service professionals in a global network of offices and with over 3800 people in the world´s major financial centers. This allows us to achieve truly global coverage of markets and sectors. We provide investment services to clients who have entrusted us with more than EUR 500 billion in assets under management. Our diverse institutional client base includes pension funds, insurances, corporations, banks and local government authorities. In delivering services for its institutional clients, DeAM collaborates with a strong partner: DWS Investments, who offers funds that are specially designed for our diverse institutional client base. We are committed to producing consistent, risk-controlled performance for our clients and adding value through all stages. As a leading partner for institutional investors, DeAM focuses on active and quantitative management, offering a comprehensive range of investment vehicles and a full spectrum of traditional and non-traditional strategies.

    With its office in Vienna, DWS Investments offers individual concepts for institutional clients in Austria, extending its services also to Central and Eastern Europe. It provides expertise in finding the right, individual investment solutions and accompanies the client in every step of the process.

    Please contact us for more information about DeAM and DWS Investments, we will be pleased to hear from you!

    DWS (Austria) Investmentgesellschaft mbH
    Christian Schön
    Managing Director
    Hohenstaufengasse 4
    1010 Vienna
    Austria
    Tel: 0043 1 531 81-366
    Email: info.austria@dws.de

  • For more information, please contact:

    Geoffrey Mazullo Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program
    Christian Schön DWS (Austria) Investmentgesellschaft mbH
    Phone: 0043 1 531 81-366

    For more from this organization:

    Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program

     

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