Archive for CSR-reporting

Again: It’s not only about reporting

PersilI usually don’t give a sustainability report much of a plug here, but this might be worthwhile mentioning: Henkel not only receives regular laurels within the German CSR-community for their reporting, but does so as well internationally now, see their report, just released a few days back. Comments on the report are provided not only by warm words of the CEO, but as well by qualified statements of the CTO, pointing to sustainability-driven product development and strongly indicating that there is some integration of Corporate Responsibility within the company. It is worth noting, though, that Henkel is not publicly being traded but de facto privately held - just another indicator that, as long as entrepreneurs and not shareholders own a company, the positive bottom-line impact of sustainable business is recognised.

A cautiously optimistic thought about this: With the stockmarkets increasing volatility, private equity funds (called “locusts” in Germany) buying undervalued companies might opt to keep them in their portfolio and have them managed by appointed entrepreneurs (hmm. is there such a jackalope?), instead of reintroducing the companies into the markets - after all, bookbuilding etc. does take a few months…

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WestLB on GRI: No, we’re not really being relevant

GRIIt’s all very well that most companies by now claim to report along the guidelines of GRI. However, even the ones that indeed do so (there are a few hundreds that only claim but are not approved) seem to get some problems with this. A WestLB study on GRI (published in September 2007) sums up.

“… it is still not easy (if not impossible) to draw the link between (perceived) report quality and the actual sustainability performance of a company. It is still far from possible to draw the conclusion ‘great report = great company’.”

And indeed, it is kind of surprising that companies may report well and still are obviously not even near to be a “great company”. A telling example might be Siemens, building up ’slush funds’ from 2000 - 2007, whilst sitting on the GRI committee.

On a broader sense: What does this mean for indices anyway?

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