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Companies will report regularly on their sustainability strategy and performance, disclosure will include credible, standardized, independently verified metrics encompassing all material stakeholder concerns, and detail goals and plans for future action.

Ceres has long advocated for greater corporate disclosure of sustainability risks, strategies and performance. It reflects a philosophy that “what gets measured gets managed, and what gets disclosed gets done.” Detailed, timely and comprehensive public disclosure is essential if investors and other stakeholders are to understand and evaluate a company’s preparedness and ability to thrive in an increasingly resource constrained economy. Far from imposing another layer of burdensome reporting, disclosure of sustainability risks, opportunities, performance, goals and strategies helps build constructive relationships with key stakeholders, opens up new business opportunities, builds goodwill, and enhances a company’s social license to operate.

This section looks at how companies are performing on key areas of disclosure, including standards for disclosure, disclosure in financial filings, vehicles for disclosure, as well as verification and assurance.

Key Findings

  • Standards for Disclosure: Thirty-two percent of companies are using GRI guidelines to develop sustainability reports, up from 29 percent in 2012.
  • Disclosure in Financial Filings: Forty-eight percent of companies are disclosing material sustainability risks and opportunities in their financial filings, up from 39 percent in 2012.
  • Vehicles for Disclosure: Twenty-nine percent of companies use a variety of vehicles to communicate with stakeholders, down slightly from 30 percent in 2012.
  • Verification & Assurance: Only nine percent of companies verify their sustainability reporting, up from six percent in 2012.


Interactive Data

Click on a performance tier below to view more information about how companies are performing on Disclosure.  To view data on other disclosure expectations, click the links to the left.

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[23] Companies in Mediocre in 2014