Why does corporate transparency matter?
Accurate information about companies’ environmental and social impacts can be an important tool to help address corporate practices which have detrimental consequences for workers, communities and the environment. It can give civil society groups a means of holding companies to account, and inform investors about company operations and associated risks. Crucially, it can be the first step to company directors taking action to minimise the negative impacts of their company’s activities, as well as helping them to anticipate future events and social and environmental trends. Thanks to CORE’s campaigning, directors of ‘quoted’ companies (those listed on the London Stock Exchange) are now required by law to report annually on their company’s employees, its impact on the environment and social and community issues.
What is CORE calling for now?
Currently, there is a lack of guidance on how reports should be prepared, leading to inconsistencies which make it difficult for readers to find the information they need, and preventing easy comparison between companies. The reporting requirements are very vague, narrative reports are not audited in the same way as financial reports and there are no penalties for inaccurate or insufficient reporting. This result is that some companies continue not to report on key social and environmental issues, in the knowledge that there are no consequences for failing to comply with the law.
CORE wants the rules on corporate reporting to be clarified and strengthened, to make the system more effective, cost efficient and easy to use. For more information see our report Simply Put: Towards and effective regime for environmental and social reporting by companies.