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Disclosure timeliness score
The speed with which public companies disclose
sustainability data to the market is an important
and often overlooked component in a sustainability
reporting strategy. Timely sustainability data is sought
by market participants to ensure relevance,
actionability and market fairness.
Most companies that disclose sustainability data
continue to do so through stand-alone “sustainability
reports” or “corporate social responsibility reports.”
These publications are in most cases released
sometime
after
the publication of corresponding
financial information. Most companies that disclose
sustainability data do so between three and 12 months
after
their financial year-end.
However, more and more companies are shifting
away from this model in favour of an integrated
approach, where sustainability and financial data
are released simultaneously in a single, coordinated
report.While a small number of reporters can currently
be said to follow the practice of integrated reporting,
the number is growing rapidly.
39
The format and
content of integrated reporting frameworks are
still evolving, but they represent a significant step
forward in elevating the importance and usability of
sustainability data in investment decision-making.
39 Source:
In the analysis that follows, the relative speed
with which companies on the 45 exchanges in
our sample are releasing sustainability data to
the market is assessed.
Taking our universe of stock exchanges, we considered
all companies that had a market capitalization of at
least US$2 billion as at July 1, 2013. Next, we screened
out companies that had not disclosed any first
generation sustainability data over our study period
(2007 – 2011). From the remaining companies, we
removed those that had a fiscal year-end between
January 2012 and September 2012 such that only the
companies with a fiscal year-end in Q4 2012 remained.
For each of those companies, we looked at the
existence of publicly-disclosed sustainability data
as at July 1, 2013. For statistical significance, if a
given stock exchange had less than 10 companies
remaining after applying the above screens, it was
not included in the analysis. The results are shown
in
Figure 11
.
1...,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30 32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,...71