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More CEE Blue-Chips Issuing Stand-Alone English-Language Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reports

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

May 08 /CSRwire/ - May 8, 2008 - Today, the Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program publishes its tenth 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). PFS Program Intern Dominik Grodzki (Poland), PFS Program Assistant Magdalena Grabowska and PFS Program Research Assistant Igor Solodovnik conducted the survey from March 1 through April 30, 2008.

Companies in Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia were surveyed for the tenth time; companies in Hungary and Poland were surveyed for the ninth time; and companies in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania were surveyed for the eighth time. Moreover, a fourth 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 ongoing benchmarking with these emerging market peers.

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 2008 on the following three topics: corporate governance, environmental policy and social policy. The record date for the disclosures is April 15, 2008.

This edition of the survey documents a generally higher level of online disclosure of corporate governance information, continuing the trend over the past five years. Slightly more information is also disclosed in the area of social policy, compared with the previous survey published in September 2007. Disclosure of information about environmental policy has increased on company websites; however, significant progress remains to be made in disclosing information on environmental policy in the annual report.

Overall, companies in BRIC outperform CEE peers in terms of the availability of English-language websites and annual reports as well as specific disclosures in all three areas. In the field of corporate governance, the most significant difference concerns disclosure of information regarding compliance with a corporate governance code and a company-specific code of business conduct/code of ethics in both the website and annual report. In general, BRIC companies also provide more information on social policy and environmental policy. Due to the lack of a number of drivers, Ukrainian companies lag behind both BRIC and CEE peers in all areas. However, the number of Ukrainian companies with English-language websites has increased steadily over the past two years.

29 of the 110 CEE companies surveyed (26%) provide a stand-alone environmental, social and governance (ESG) report online in English on the record date of April 15, 2008. This represents a significant improvement over the most recent survey and continuation of an ongoing trend: 22 of the companies surveyed (20%) published such a report in September 2007, compared with 19 companies (17%) in April 2007 and 17 companies (15%) in September 2006.

Survey findings include the following:

  • 96% of the 110 CEE companies surveyed have an English-language website on the record date of April 15, 2008, compared with 94.5 % in September 2007, 94% in April 2007, 94% in September 2006, 87% in April 2006, 89% in September 2005 and 82% in April 2005. In comparison, 100% of the BRIC companies surveyed and 70% of the Ukrainian companies surveyed have an English-language website.

  • 87% of the 110 CEE companies surveyed have a 2006/2007 English-language annual report online on the record date of April 15, 2008 compared with 100% in BRIC and 30% in Ukraine.

  • Nine Slovene, eight Polish, eight Hungarian, seven Estonian, four Bulgarian, four Czech, four Latvian companies, one Croatian, one Lithuanian and one Romanian company disclose information regarding compliance with a corporate governance code on the company website. Nine Slovene, eight Estonian, seven Polish, six Czech, six Lithuanian, four Croatian, four Hungarian, three Bulgarian, three Slovak, two Romanian and one Latvian company disclose this information in the annual report.

  • 64% of the 110 CEE companies surveyed disclose information on employee development/benefits on their website. This result has remained constant at 64% for the past four surveys.

  • 24% of the 110 CEE companies surveyed disclose information on energy and water use on their website, compared with 17% in September 2007, 17% in April 2007, 21% in September 2006, 18% in April 2006, 20% in September 2005, 20% in April 2005 and 23% in August 2004.

  • 29 of the 110 CEE companies surveyed (26%) publish a stand-alone English-language ESG report as of April 15, 2008. Of the 29 reports published in CEE, 27 (93%) use recognized standards and eight (28%) include a third-party assurance statement.

  • 17 of the 40 BRIC companies surveyed (42.5%) publish a stand-alone English-language ESG report. Of the 17 reports published in BRIC, 14 (82%) use recognized standards and ten (59%) provide a third-party assurance. No Ukrainian company produces such a report as of the record date of April 15, 2008.

    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:

    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/.

    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!

  • For more information, please contact:

    Geoffrey Mazullo Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program
    Phone: 00 48 22 620 5798

    For more from this organization:

    Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program


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