Submitted by KPMG
NEW YORK, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Twice as many top U.S. companies publicly released sustainability data on their environmental, social and governance information in 2008 compared with three years earlier, and ethics outweighed economics for the first time as the primary reason for such disclosures, according to a KPMG International global analysis of corporate reports.
Of the top 100 U.S. companies by revenue, 74 percent published corporate responsibility (CR) information in 2008 either as part of their annual financial report or as a separate document, up from 37 percent in KPMG International's 2005 research. Globally, 80 percent of the Global Fortune 250 companies now release CR data, up from 64 percent in the last KPMG International analysis in 2005.
Meanwhile, 70 percent of all companies studied wrote in their 2008 reports to stakeholders that ethical considerations were a primary driver for making CR disclosures, while 50 percent cited economic concerns as the leading reason. By comparison, in 2005 the drivers were reversed, with economic considerations cited by 74 percent of the companies as the reason for reporting CR data, compared with 53 percent of the companies citing ethical reasons for the disclosures.
"With increasing evidence that conducting business responsibly contributes to shareholder value, it's not surprising that more U.S. companies are highlighting their corporate responsibility efforts," said Eric Israel, a managing director and sustainability services leader for the Advisory practice of KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory member firm of KPMG International. "More U.S. companies are beginning to see the link between profits and principles. Even in a difficult economy we expect this trend to continue, as enhanced transparency and disclosure on non-financial matters will likely grow in importance."
The KPMG International Survey on Corporate Responsibility Reporting is the most comprehensive conducted on environmental, social and governance disclosures, reviewing reports from the Global Fortune 250 (G250) and from the 100 largest companies by revenue in 22 countries.
"This clearly demonstrates that CR reporting has become the norm, rather than the exception, among the largest U.S. companies," said Israel, who pointed to a number of U.S. market drivers:
Additionally, the research showed:
KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. There are over 123,000 professionals working in over 140 countries worldwide.
About the Survey
The KPMG International Survey on Corporate Responsibility Reporting was designed to examine reporting trends among the world’s largest companies. It is the sixth in a series conducted by KPMG and various partners since 1993 and is issued every three years. Twenty-two of KPMG International’s member firms participated in this study including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. Analysts searched only publicly available information such as websites, corporate responsibility reports, and financial reports, and collected information on over 50 data points from each company associated with corporate responsibility reporting, standards, process, drivers and issues. The sample included the Global Fortune 250, and the 100 largest companies by revenue from 22 countries (except Sweden where the top 70 were examined).
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International. KPMG International's member firms have 113,000 professionals, including 6,800 partners, in 148 countries.
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