By Thomas Thomas and Perrine Oh, TODAY, 25 Jun 2012.
Fourteen per cent – or 79 out of 562 – of Singapore Exchange (SGX) Mainboard-listed companies engaged in sustainability reporting last year. While this percentage appears low, it represents a 25-per-cent increase over the previous year.
This key finding, released by the Singapore Compact, a national corporate social responsibility (CSR) society, at the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS) Singapore Accountancy Convention last November, is a useful snapshot of the non-financial reporting scene in Singapore.
Companies with large market capitalisation (of more than S$1 billion) accounted for almost 60 per cent of listed companies engaged in sustainability reporting. Read more
Sweden has the reputation of being a leader in actively promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR), and Swedish companies such as H&M, IKEA, Ericsson, ICA, Swedbank, and Scania are known to be leaders in sustainability and corporate responsibility.
The recent KPMG International Corporate Responsibility Reporting Survey 2011 found that 95% of the 250 largest global companies has undertaken Corporate Responsibility reporting. This widespread adoption by top companies is encouraging, however, the survey also shows the difference in the level of reporting among the 3,400 companies across 34 countries.
For example, Sweden is one of the leading countries, with 72% of its top 100 companies now reporting on their corporate responsibility initiatives. On the other hand, there are countries lagging behind, such as Singapore with only 43% of its top 100 companies with corporate responsibility reporting.
Another previous Responsible Competitiveness Index ranking published in 2007 by AccountAbility ranks 108 countries on how they are performing in their efforts to promote responsible business practices. Sweden emerged as the top country while Singapore is number 15.
What can Singapore learn from Sweden’s success and experience in embracing CSR? It seems that Sweden’s success in CSR is mainly due to the government leading and coordinating, and big companies taking responsibility. The cultural context in Sweden could also helped to play a part. Read more