Executive Briefings

Many U.S. Companies Fail to Get Third-Party Validation of Sustainability Initiatives

While more than half (53 percent) of all companies in the S&P 500 Index and Fortune 500 published sustainability reports in 2011 "” up from 19 percent the year before "” companies in the U.S. are less likely to obtain third-party assurance than their global peers, according to a report by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Assurance refers to third-party validation of a sustainability report's contents.

The GRI Focal Point USA analysis, conducted in collaboration with GRI's US Data Partner and Organizational Stakeholder Governance & Accountability Institute, finds the current growth in corporate reporting in the U.S. is exceeding the global average growth.

However, Trends in External Assurance of Sustainability Reports - Spotlight on the USA, finds in the U.S., only 10 percent (26 out of 269 reporters) of GRI framework sustainability reports obtained external assurance in 2011. The international percentage is much higher at 38 percent.

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The GRI Focal Point USA analysis, conducted in collaboration with GRI's US Data Partner and Organizational Stakeholder Governance & Accountability Institute, finds the current growth in corporate reporting in the U.S. is exceeding the global average growth.

However, Trends in External Assurance of Sustainability Reports - Spotlight on the USA, finds in the U.S., only 10 percent (26 out of 269 reporters) of GRI framework sustainability reports obtained external assurance in 2011. The international percentage is much higher at 38 percent.

Read Full Article