For Sustainability, Non-Financial Data is Financial

As more and more investors are looking for data regarding sustainability, the line between financial data and non-financial data is becoming blurred.

Bloomberg’s Eric Roston writes “so here’s the paradox. If non-financial data, such as greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of revenue, is included in a financial reports for investors, how can it still be called non-financial?” Investors and companies are starting to define this reporting.

This reporting, referred to as environmental, social and corporate governance reporting (ESG), is on the rise in many corporations. Hank Boerner, chairman of the Governance Accountability Institute (GRI), shared with Bloomberg that much of this reporting comes in the form of a corporate sustainability report. The GRI has been collecting information of sustainability reports for 2012. While these reports exist, the data offers only a snapshot to investors.

Last year, 242 reports were issues and 186 of them followed the guidelines of GRI. This was an increase of 44 percent over 2010. Companies who have decided to incorporate their data into one report include Clorox, Northern Grumman, SAS, Genentech and Polymer Group Inc.

A recent report from Deloitte, “Integrated Reporting Navigating your way to a truly Integrated Report” may help your organization determine which information is material to your business.

Does your company have an integrated report? What are you experiences?


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