Trust Us: The Global Reporters 2002 Survey of Corporate Sustainability Reporting is the second report in the Global Reporters series to put corporate sustainability reporting under the microscope and focus on the emerging trends and hot topics that are bubbling under – or boiling over – in this increasingly important area of corporate accountability.
Trust in major corporations has eroded in the wake of major corporate collapses and scandals.
2002 saw trust emerge as a Holy Grail for business, as investor and wider societal trust in major corporations was eroded in the wake of major corporate collapses and scandals.
Trust Us investigates three key aspects of the trust equation that are beginning to surface in the area of corporate sustainability reporting:
- Materiality: This is emerging as the key challenge for corporate reporters over the coming years, both in terms of issue identification and, more importantly still, in persuading financial markets that environmental, social and economic performance matters.
- Governance: The growing complexity of the corporate responsibility agenda, coupled with expectations that business will play an increasingly prominent role not only in defining but also in delivering sustainable development, is pushing this agenda up to board level.
- Brand: This is the missing link, at least for most current reports. Although more brand name companies (e.g. Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike) are beginning to report, corporate responsibility people on the one hand, and brand management people on the other, tend to remain in their silos. Current reports have surprisingly little to say on brand issues.