Environmental reporting - a growing business imperative

The first wave of corporate environmental reports is beginning to make profound changes in society's expectations of standards of corporate disclosure, according to an international survey.1 Leading businesses are now sensing that environmental reports can help them win competitive advantage - but future reports will need to be more quantitative and honest if they are to win over the growing number of audiences interested in firms' environmental performance.

The survey was carried out by management consultants Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and environmental consultants SustainAbility. The team questioned 100 companies in North America, Europe and Japan which have prepared free-standing environmental reports about their motives and experiences.

Corporate environmental reporting is a very recent phenomenon. Among the pioneers were Norsk Hydro (ENDS Report 185, pp 13-15) and Monsanto (ENDS Report 200

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