Carol Adams, professor of accounting at Glasgow University, will tell a conference that there is a ‘difference’ between the way the company portrays its performance and the way it is portrayed by other observers.
Her speech at the Accountability and Governance Conference will again throw the spotlight on progress made by business in providing social, ethical and environmental reports.
Following the anti-globalisation demonstrations in London last week, which focused on the Nike store at Oxford Circus, Adams said businesses had to start ‘consulting more with their stakeholders’, and would lose credibility if the ‘portrayal gap’ continued.
ICI said it was in discussion with Adams over her paper, which is awaiting publication.
The company says its annual report is a safety, health and environmental report with stringent targets verified as being met by external auditors.
Sam Benoy, external affairs manager at ICI, said that the company was ‘confident about its processes’ and was looking at the next set of targets. She added producing reports was an ‘evolving process’ and admitted some companies were ‘doing better than ICI in terms of social and ethical reporting’.
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