Paul Druckman – Chief Executive
Officer, International Integrated
Reporting Council
On reading this report I was reminded of a quote
by the wise US investor Warren Buffett:
sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree
a long time ago”.
Sustainability reporting has moved
in the space of a few short years from being a niche
activity undertaken by committed and far-sighted
innovators, to common sense and mainstream for
many of the world’s largest companies. This report,
prepared by CK Capital, highlights the progress
made over the last year, and also poses challenges
to market participants and the policy community.
Businesses that have embraced sustainability
reporting are not only protecting themselves, their
investors and stakeholders, they are also helping
to secure the future stability of the financial
system and global economy. What the trailblazing
innovators have done is build the essential
architecture of a new corporate reporting movement
by developing the best practice and evidence base
that showcase the benefits of a more relevant and
meaningful reporting landscape.
The Global Financial Crisis will be studied for many
decades—its origins, its effects and its lessons. There
is one thing that we can be sure about—it was the
first truly global financial crisis, demonstrating the
interconnectedness of the world we live in today. It
brought into sharp focus the limits of the reach of
national governments and regulators.
There are at least two further global phenomena
that pose a challenge to the ‘business as usual’
mind-set. One is the environmental crisis that
is placing unprecedented pressure on natural
resources all around the world. The second is
the information revolution, resulting in an age of
radical transparency brought about by globalization,
technology and an explosion in the volume of data.
This transparency enables us to see into the soul of
a business—its values as well as its balance sheet.
The impact of these events is twofold: they provide
the impetus for changed corporate and investor
behaviour; and they change the balance of risk
itself—for businesses, investors and global capital
markets. Today’s risks lie both inside and outside
the business.
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