Just one quarter of Ireland’s top 100 companies report on carbon reduction targets, compared to a global average of 50%, according to the latest KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting.
The report, which studied annual financial reports and corporate responsibility reports from the top 100 companies by revenue in 4,900 companies in 49 countries including Ireland, also found that almost three quarters (72%) of large and mid-cap companies worldwide do not acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their annual financial reports, with just 26% of Irish companies doing so.
More positively, the report shows that corporate responsibility reporting in Ireland’s top companies has increased by 8% over the past 2 years, from 70% to 78%, but falls behind the average reporting rate of other Western European countries such as the UK (99%), France (94%), and Spain (87%).
Findings also show that while the level of non-financial reporting globally has improved, the integration of this information into annual reports remains slow, with less than 3 in 5 (57%) companies analysed choosing to report non-financial information within their annual investor communications, an increase of just 1% from 2015. In Ireland, less than half (47%) of the top companies analysed are currently integrating non-financial information into their annual reports.
Speaking about the results, Caroline Pope, Head of Sustainability Services, KPMG, said: “As we deal with the aftermath of ex-Hurricane Ophelia in Ireland it is disappointing to see that Irish companies are falling behind in terms of acknowledging climate change risks. It is, however, encouraging to see that there has been an increase in the level of corporate responsibility reporting from Ireland’s top 100 companies, a trend which we expect will continue in the coming years.
“The disclosure of social, environmental and diversity information is an obligation for many companies under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, but this information is being increasingly demanded of companies of all sizes by investors and other stakeholders. Our advice to Irish companies is to stay ahead of the game in terms of communicating information, beyond the financial statements, in order to guard against potential reputational and commercial damage.” concluded Caroline.