Sustainability reporting is no longer a buzzword. A sustainability report is a disclosure of the management of material economic, environmental, social and governance factors. It represents a new mainstream business practice, a strategic imperative that focuses on optimising financial and operational management and enhancing reputation.
Over the last two years, stock exchanges in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong have elevated sustainability disclosure from a good-to-have practice to a mandatory listing requirement. The changes effected now require all listed companies, regardless of market capitalisation, to comply by producing a sustainability report after the close of every financial year or explain why they are not doing so. While a company’s investors, customers and stakeholders more than welcome these changes, these requirements also increase the complexity and cost of reporting.
From our experience working with Singapore-listed companies, we hope to demystify the process of sustainability reporting by sharing our thoughts in this article on what it means for companies and how to get started.