Business in Australia and New Zealand supports mandatory sustainability reporting

Source: ACCSR, 11 May 2017

More than half the respondents to the annual study of corporate social responsibility practices by The Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) support mandatory sustainability reporting.

The ninth Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand found that 53 percent of Australian respondents support mandatory sustainability reporting for all organisations of a certain size. In New Zealand, support stands at 48 percent, for large companies only. Seven percent of respondents in both countries don’t support mandatory sustainability reporting.

The Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand 2017 is the largest ongoing longitudinal study of CSR practices down under. This year there were 1,215 respondents, a 12 percent increase on 2016.

ACCSR Managing Director, Dr Leeora Black, said this result was pleasing, given that business opposed mandatory sustainability reporting when it was canvassed in a Federal Government inquiry in 2006 (Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services report, Corporate Social Responsibility: Managing risk and creating value, June).

“Our results are consistent with global trends, where over 50 countries have introduced some form of regulatory sustainability reporting instrument. The New Zealand Stock Exchange is the latest to consider sustainability reporting disclosure with its review of the NZX Corporate Governance Best Practice Code.”

The Review also names the CSR Top Ten in Australia and the CSR Top Three in New Zealand, who are the companies with the strongest management capabilities for CSR, as rated by their employees.

The CSR Top 10 Australia are (in alphabetical order):

  • Abergeldie
  • Arup
  • Deloitte
  • Ebmpapst
  • LexisNexis
  • PWC
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Transurban
  • WaterAid
  • Yarra Valley Water

The CSR Top 3 New Zealand are:

  • Air New Zealand
  • Toyota
  • Westpac

The Annual Review also shows that the sustainable development goals are gathering pace. Companies are using them to inform business strategy to include sustainability strategy, and commitment is coming from the highest levels of these organisations. The top two goals that companies are addressing are gender equality and health and well-being, with the most challenging goals to address, being climate action and gender equality.