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Canada jumps with two-fold increase in Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting, ranking 3rd global

Press release from KPMG | June 21, 2005

Toronto, Canada - Canada's corporate social responsibility reporting has improved significantly since 2002, now ranking third among the 16 nations to issue a stand-alone Corporate Responsibility (CR) report separate from their annual report, according to KPMG's International Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting 2005.

The top two countries for 2005 were Japan (80%) and the UK (71%), with Canada following third (41%), with more than twice as many companies reporting than in 2002. These results were garnered by surveying the top 100 largest companies in each respective country. The survey results further indicate that 52 per cent of the 250 largest companies in the world now issue separate reports, up nine percentage points from 2002.

"This increase in corporate responsibility reporting in Canada over the last three years is clearly a response to the emphasis being placed on issues such the environment, economics and risk management," said Wayne Chodzicki, National Industry Leader of KPMG's Energy and Natural Resources Practice. "Corporate responsibility reporting has evolved from purely environmental reporting to sustainability which includes social, ethical, environmental and economic reporting. As the definition itself has expanded, the number of stakeholders has increased and Canadian organizations now see this as a vital aspect of their reporting."

The KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting, first conducted in 1993, analyses trends in Corporate Responsibility reporting of the world's largest corporations, including the top 250 companies of the Fortune 500 (Global 250) and top 100 companies in 16 countries (National 100). With this vast coverage of 1600+ companies, this survey provides a truly global picture of reporting trends over the last ten years.

The survey illustrates that of all 16 countries among whose top 100 companies were surveyed; an increase in Corporate Responsibility reporting was evidenced in all sectors, since 2002. The most notable of these was in the financial sector, with a 170 per cent increase in the number of CR reports published for 2005.

"The survey showed an increase in corporate social reporting in all sectors since 2002, however, the most notable increase is in the financial sector. This increase reflects the growing attention in this sector to corporate responsibility issues such as ethics, values and codes of conduct, in a time when social issues can no longer be regarded as disconnected from business drivers, said Mike Alexander, Managing Director of Global Sustainability Services for KPMG in Canada. "I would even go so far as to suggest, that in the financial sector in particular, companies recognize that a failure to provide this type of assurance externally, could have a negative impact on their success."

While 74 per cent of all companies surveyed noted that ‘economic reasons' were the most important business driver for their reporting standards, more than 50 per cent reported that their CR behavior is motivated by ethics, values and codes of conduct that guide their daily business operations. Economic reasons were either directly linked to shareholder value and market share, or indirectly linked through increased business opportunities, innovation, reputation, and reduced risk.

Drivers for Corporate Social Responsibility include:

Driver %
Economic considerations 74
Ethical considerations 53
Innovation and learning 53
Employee motivation 47
Risk Management or risk reduction 47
Access to capital or increased shareholder value 39
Reputation or Brand 27
Market position (market share) improvement 21
Strengthened supplier relationships 13
Cost saving 9
Improved relationships with governmental authorities 9
Other 11

Article has been adapted from a news release issued by KPMG. Click here for the original news release.

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