Companies will report regularly on their sustainability strategy and performance. Disclosure will include credible, standardized, independently verified metrics encompassing all material stakeholder concerns and details of goals and plans for future action.
Companies will disclose all relevant sustainability information using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines as well as additional sector-relevant indicators.
Disclosure in Financial Filings
Companies will disclose material sustainability risks and opportunities, as well as performance data, in financial filings.
Scope & Content
Companies will regularly disclose trended performance data and targets relating to global direct operations, subsidiaries, joint ventures, products and supply chains. Companies will demonstrate integration of sustainability into business systems and decision-making and disclosure will be balanced, covering challenges as well as positive impacts.
Vehicles for Disclosure
Companies will release sustainability information through a range of disclosure vehicles, including sustainability reports, annual reports, financial filings, corporate websites, investor communications and social media.
Companies will verify key sustainability performance data to ensure valid results and will have their disclosures reviewed by an independent, credible third party.
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.”
Companies that are transparent on these issues typically do a better job managing them, as public disclosure catalyzes more systematic strategic planning and proactive management of sustainability challenges.
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, and enhances a company’s social license to operate.
In fact, incorporation of ESG criteria into investment vehicles nearly tripled between 2012-2016, reaching $8.1 Trillion dollars according to research led by US SIF. As investors and asset owners increasingly seek to invest sustainably, transparent companies will be better positioned to seize the competitive advantage.