Paia Consulting was featured in Lianhe Zaobao Finance (联合早报 – 财金) on Monday, October 12, 2015. The half-page spread drew on Paia’s in-house research on sustainability reporting, and insights from Wong Dan Chi, our Senior Consultant.
The reporter wrote that following the recent issues with transboundary haze, it is expected that more investors and members of the public will request companies to report on sustainability.
There has been an increase in sustainability reporting over the last few years in Singapore. According to a research Paia conducted earlier this year in May 2015, 50% of the 30 Straits Times Index (STI) firms report on sustainability using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. 5 years ago, there were only 3 STI firms producing GRI-level sustainability reports. GRI is the de facto sustainability reporting standard, and reflects a certain standard of reporting quality.
In a study by Global Compact Network Singapore and the National University of Singapore, 160 companies listed on Singapore Exchange (SGX) Mainboard reported on sustainability or made disclosures in 2013, up from 79 companies in 2011. 160 companies make up about 30% of SGX Mainboard companies in 2013.
However, Singapore still lags behind North America, Europe and South Africa in both quantity and quality of sustainability reports. For example, according to a study published by the Governance & Accountability Institute in June this year, 75% of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies disclose their corporate responsibility (or sustainability) reports.
Last October, SGX indicated that they target to implement sustainability reporting on a ‘comply or explain’ basis by FY2017. Many market research reports showed that there is a positive correlation between sustainability reporting and a company’s 10-year and even 20-year financial performance.