Published: Tue, Dec 15, 2015
Type: Publication

Scaling up effective non-financial reporting globally: A Latin American perspective

Geneva, December 15 2015Reporting matters 2015, a new publication by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) developed in partnership with consultants Radley Yeldar, shows that the effectiveness of corporate non-financial reporting is improving among leading companies, but there remains work to be done for reporting to reach its full potential in driving improved performance and decision-making.

Aimed at improving the effectiveness of non-financial reporting, Reporting matters 2015 is the outcome of the third review of WBCSD members’ sustainability or integrated reports, covering 169 world-leading companies from more than 20 sectors and 35 countries.

Concise corporate sustainability disclosures which connect financial, environmental and social performance will play a critical role in improving business decision making and changing perceptions of value. This will in turn help drive the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy.

In line with this vision, similar initiatives are being carried out by the Global Network partners of the WBCSD with the aim of scaling up the effectiveness of non-financial reporting globally. By providing its methodology for adaptation to the local context, the WBCSD has supported the Global Network partners in delivering a review of non-financial reporting practices within their respective memberships.

Insights from Latin America: Report issued in Spanish and Portuguese

“Reporting matters Latin America” reviewed 186 non-financial reports from member companies of 10 of the WBCSD’s Global Network partners based in the region: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, and Uruguay.

The study provides insights into how Latin American companies are using the reporting process to drive change inside their businesses and present examples to the regional business community on how to effectively communicate and report on sustainability. 

The publication, launched in December 2015 in Spanish and Portuguese, underscores the goal of establishing a solid baseline of information on the current state of the art across the membership of the WBCSD’s Latin American partner organizations. The authors write: “We aim to provide recommendations in view of improving communications and offering a set of inspiring examples that will stimulate best practice exchange and support companies’ commitment to sustainability.” The report also underscores that the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will strengthen and promote the necessity to report companies’ sustainability performance.

Peter Bakker, WBCSD President & CEO, said: “The disclosure of non-financial information, including reliable data along with qualitative and contextual information, should also help provide a more accurate valuation of companies, leading to a more efficient allocation of capital market investments. This is fundamental to driving the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy at the scale and speed required. Harnessing the full potential of our Global Network in spreading the effectiveness of non-financial reporting is key to achieving this objective.”