Corporate social responsibility (CSR) content in annual reports has continued to expand with increased focus on the ‘non-financial’ aspects of companies’ operations.
Reporting requirements have reinforced this trend and many companies report well beyond what is formally required. We analysed annual reports from a sample of companies in the FTSE 350 with a year end in 2015 to understand their reporting of CSR information.
What we found was that despite some examples of good practice it is not a strong area of reporting as often the content is not related back to the business model and the value creation process, leaving a significant question about its materiality.
We believe many companies are making considerable progress in their CSR activities but those efforts do not seem to translate into how or what they report.