2 in 3 listed companies hide sustainability information from stakeholders: NUS

Only 19 firms use internationally recognised sustainability reporting frameworks.

A lot of Singaporean stakeholders are kept in the dark about their company’s sustainability practices, despite efforts by the SGX to increase transparency in listed firms.

A survey released today by the Singapore Compact for Corporate Social Responsibility (Singapore Compact) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School revealed that only 160 out of 537 mainboard-listed firms have communicated, sustainability information related to the governance, economic, environmental and social aspects of their businesses.

Of the 160 companies that had communicated sustainability, only 19 of the companies used internationally recognised sustainability reporting frameworks, which guides them to provide more comprehensive and in-depth information about their businesses to their relevant stakeholders.

Listed companies communicating on sustainability are still a minority, making only 29.7% of all mainboard-listed companies. This is in spite of efforts such as the SGX, which released its “Guide to Sustainability Reporting” in June 2011.

According to Executive Director of Singapore Compact Christopher Ang, “More companies need to communicate and report on their sustainability activities to gain a deeper understanding of their exposure to social and environmental risks, and demonstrate corporate transparency and accountability. Such insights can also help companies find growth opportunities and generates trust with their stakeholders, while providing drivers for companies to formulate long-term strategic visions and resilient business models.”


Here’s more from the report:
Although this is an almost two-fold increase from the 79 companies in 2011 that were found to have communicated such information, two-thirds of Singapore’s listed companies are still not communicating sustainability to their stakeholders.

As for the 30 ‘blue chip’ companies on the Straits Times Index, only 14 are providing in-depth sustainability information and using internationally-recognised frameworks when preparing sustainability reports.

Released today at NUS Business School, the latest study also showed that companies providing sustainability information are evenly distributed among large, medium and small capitalisation[1] companies.

This is an improvement from 2011, where large capitalisation companies accounted for almost 60% of those disclosure sustainability information. Also, more companies are including sustainability information into their annual reports, from 66 in 2011 to 141 in 2013.

However, despite these improvements, there are substantial gaps that need to be addressed.

Listed companies communicating on sustainability are still a minority, making only 29.7% of all mainboard-listed companies. This is in spite of efforts such as the SGX, which released its “Guide to Sustainability Reporting” in June 2011.
 

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