South Africa makes marked improvement on CSR reporting

South African companies have made a marked improvement in the number of them reporting on their non-financial performance, such as environmental, social and health and safety issues, says accountancy firm KPMG. Nearly half now mention the environment in their annual reports.

KPMG’s survey of sixteen non-financial reports, carried out in collaboration with the University of the Witwaterstrand, found that as well as the environment, 45% mention social issues, health and safety is mentioned in 40%, with 31% reporting on community issues.

The leading companies were BHP Billiton, Umgeni Water, British American Tobacco and Rand Water. These companies were found to have ‘highly appropriate’ reporting, detailing the extent of their companies’ social, transformation, ethical, safety, health and environmental management policies and practices.

“The overall improvement in reporting core sustainability issues in the separate reports is encouraging,” says KPMG Director of Sustainability Services, Shireen Naidoo.

Verification of reports by an independent third party also appears to be significantly on the increase in South Africa, says KPMG. Fifty-six percent of the sample surveyed had their reports externally verified.

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