31 Jul 2007, 10:09
Sustainability reports are fast becoming the norm for the world's leading brands, according to new research from CSR reporting group the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
The study from the UN-backed advisory group analysed last week's Top 100 Brands list from Business Week and research firm Interbrand and found that 43 of the leading 100 brands issue sustainability reports in line with GRI's best practices.
GRI's research also found that 80 percent of the top 15 brands report on their economic, environmental and social performance using its metrics, while all of the top five brands – Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, General Electric and Nokia – are signed up to GRI's guidelines.
The research also uncovered a correlation between financial performance and sustainability reporting with 64 percent of the top 100 global companies using the GRI Reporting Guidelines for their sustainability reports.
The organisation said that over a 1,000 companies have signed up to report in line with its best practice guidelines over the last five years as more and more firms realise the commercial benefit to be gained from accurate environmental reporting.
"The fact that a competitive advantage can be gained by reporting on relevant risks and opportunities associated with environmental, social, and economic factors related to sustainability is becoming a standard business concept," the group stated. "A company that communicates this kind of information based on its independent framework is one which will be able to assure its stakeholders that it is one step ahead of the rest."
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