The Social Investment Forum has just published its latest report about sustainability reporting among S&P 100 companies.
The good news: almost all of them produce SOME information about corporate social responsibility or sustainability efforts on their Web sites.
The not-so-good news, only six of them produce what the organization calls "A" level reports according to the guidelines set out by the Global Reporting Initiative.
Still, the number of S&P 100 companies making reference to those guidelines has more than doubled since 2004, to slightly more than half of the businesses on the list.
Here's a comment from one of the program directors, Peter DiSimone:
"The fact that we saw an increase in companies issuing sustainability reports during one of the world's worst economic downturns clearly demonstrates that ESG information is not a luxury but extremely relevant to companies and their investors. This trend supports the idea that investors look for solid ESG performance in valuing companies, and that more and more companies accept this development and are willing to supply information in this area."
Personally speaking, I think the big break through for sustainability reporting and for true transparency into smart planet initiatives will come when companies really begin disclosing information about their activities in real time as they happen, rather than on an annual basis. Recently, when I asked one major tech company about how they collect their various sustainability and "green" metrics, they admitted it was sort of a point-in-time process. Since the climate changes every day, how can we accept that these metrics would be so static?
You can read the full text of the press release about the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network report, called the "S&P 100 Sustainability Reporting Comparison" here. More information about the full report is here.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com