Stakeholders focus more attention on non-financial performance and impacts

08 March 2018

Insights from PwC’s Building Public Trust in Corporate Reporting Awards 2017: Sustainability Reporting in the FTSE 350 by Alan McGill, PwC Partner

Recent years have seen sustainability reporting become an increasingly important aspect of companies’ disclosures, as stakeholders have focused more attention on their non-financial performance and impacts.

It’s also an area of reporting that’s evolving rapidly. And our assessment process this year highlighted five ongoing shifts in the sustainability reporting from FTSE 350 companies and public interest entities.

What are these shifts?

First, rising transparency and balance, as companies move away from just reporting selected good news. Second, more interaction and dialogue with stakeholders. Third, growth in the publication of “single-issue” sustainability reports. Fourth, greater complexity in reporting, supported by rising linkage to websites for supplementary detail.

And fifth and finally, increasing usage of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help shape and guide sustainability strategies and reporting, with some companies also starting to incorporate requirements around the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

As well as taking account of these trends in this year’s assessment, we’ve also placed greater emphasis on companies’ reporting on their societal contribution and impacts. This perspective is clearly a natural fit with sustainability reporting.

While this year’s nominated organisations are making great strides in their sustainability reporting, all too many companies are still lagging behind. To see what the leaders are doing right, I urge you to click through and read the judges’ comments. You can also look at our ‘Reporting with Impact’ publication highlighting good practice examples of sustainability and societal contribution and impact reporting.

And if you’d like feedback on how your company scored in this year’s assessment of reporting on sustainability, please get in touch by sending an email to bptawards@uk.pwc.com