The majority of investors expressed a belief that in order for non-financial information to be useful, it must be comparable across companies. Most respondents felt they are currently not able to sufficiently compare non-financial reporting and agreed that non-financial information should be better integrated with financial information.
The key findings among the investors were as follows:
When it came to the question of which topics non-financial reports should cover, 66% of respondents agreed with the European Commission's proposal to cover at a minimum environmental, social/employee, human rights and anti-corruption issues. Furthermore, while it was acknowledged that there are a number of non-financial reporting frameworks in use at present, most of the investors surveyed agreed that established standardized reporting frameworks should be used by companies.
The European Commission’s proposal states that all large companies (both listed and private) should be subject to the disclosure requirements on a consolidated basis, with large companies defined as those with:
According to European Commission figures, the proposal will increase the number of companies producing non-financial reports from 2,500 to 18,000 out of a total population of 42,000 large companies in the EU.
Source: Global Reporting Initiative