Scaling up effective non-financial reporting globally

Reporting matters 2015, a new publication by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) developed in partnership with consultants Radley Yeldar

Published: 30 Nov 2015
Type: News

Geneva, 30 November 2015 – 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 WBCSD with the aim of scaling up the effectiveness of non-financial reporting globally. By providing its methodology for adaptation to the local context, WBCSD has supported the Global Network partners in delivering a review of non-financial reporting practices within their respective memberships.

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.”

Reporting matters in Latin America

Reporting matters Latin America reviewed 185 non-financial reports from 10 of WBCSD’s Global Network partners(1). The study seeks to provide 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 will be launched on 3 December in Spanish and Portuguese. 

Reporting matters pilot project in Switzerland

In Switzerland, WBCSD‘s Swiss Global Network partner oebu, together with engageability, a center of excellence for sustainability and stakeholder engagement, launched the pilot project „Sustainability reporting – quo vadis?“. Based on the Reporting matters methodology, 24 reports of major companies and SMEs were reviewed, and the overall results of the analysis were presented to the participants during a workshop on 5 November. Prior to that, the results had been discussed with a panel of experts.

Results indicate that the number of companies valuing non-financial reporting as an effective instrument for strategic positioning is on the rise in Switzerland as well. Both organizations involved in the process, oebu and engageability, will develop the reporting project for 2016.

What’s next

With strong interest in replicating Reporting matters locally, WBCSD will continue to support its Global Network partners in providing business with the necessary tools that will influence investment decision-making to reward more sustainable companies.


1. This covers the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay

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