Social reporting on the rise

Fifty of the UK’s 250 largest companies produced environmental and social reports for the first time in 2001/2002 compared with just 18 first timers the previous year.

The research conducted by SalterBaxter, a design and communications consultancy, and Context, a corporate social responsibility consultancy, also showed that many more companies will report on environmental and social performance by next year.

Nigel Salter, director of SalterBaxter, said the rise was due to a ‘potent mix’ of the broadening reporting agenda, competitor and investor pressure, resistance to mandatory reporting and corporate collapses such as Enron.

Salter said: ‘Enron has made this area even more pertinent. There will be even more of an increase next year.’

A total of 103 of FTSE-250 produced reports, usually compiled separately to the annual report, but 87 companies had no more than short notes in their annual reports.

EasyJet, Emap, Fitness First and Minerva offered no information at all on their environmental or social impact within society, according to the research.

A government White Paper aimed at overhauling the UK’s company law for the first time in 150 years has proposed social reporting be a requirement for directors to disclose in the Operating and Financial Review.

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