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Theron C.,CLT Envirolaw
Environmental Law and Management | Year: 2010

All companies have to prepare a directors' report for each financial year under the Companies Act 2006 s 415. This report must include a business review that should provide a fair review of the company's business and give a description of the principal risk and uncertainties facing the company so that the shareholders can assess how the company's directors have performed their duties. The financial and economic crises, coupled with the perceived increase of the impact of natural catastrophes, have prompted companies to have to move away from a 'business as usual' model. The concept of 'sustainability' is often used interchangeably with the concept of CSR at corporate levels, but clarity on the differences is important for the way business behaves. Those challenges include the influence of adopting sustainability as an approach, the development of legislation and the actions taken by investors and shareholders who want to see more transparent and accurate disclosure of companies' performance. Source

The shifting global economic and environmental landscape is challenging the role of governments, civil society and businesses. The ripples of Hurricane Sandy are still discernible and the uncertainty surrounding financial markets and climate change has heightened expectations for the need of good governance, transparency and ethical business. Traditional reporting is viewed as being too narrow, focusing merely on historical financial performance. As a result new reporting requirements have been created through laws, regulations, standards, codes, guidance and stock exchange listing requirements. Questions as to why companies report on their sustainability performance, why investors care and how far existing approaches to reporting meet their needs are common. Some assets may be acquired for safety or environmental reasons. The acquisition may be necessary to ensure that the operation of fixed assets is not compromised; for example, the necessity to introduce new processes to certain operations in order to comply with current legal requirements for operational improvements. Source

Theron C.,CLT Envirolaw | Mackenzie S.,CLT Envirolaw
Environmental Law and Management | Year: 2012

The nature, scope and speed of economic change presents new strategic challenges for organizations and their stake- holders. There is greater demand that companies disclose information on issues that are material to their operations, and there are an increasing number of national and international standards that aim to encourage organizations to make more sustainable production and purchasing choices. Since the 1990s, the number of companies disclosing information on their environmental, social and governance performance has grown significantly. Sustainability reporting for many large multinational companies has become mainstream. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides a reporting framework for companies and more than 4000 organizations from 60 countries use the GRI guidelines to produce sustainability or corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports on a voluntary basis. Eco-labeling began in North America in the 1970s as a way to illustrate the environmental impact of goods to consumers. Source

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