Monday, December 5, 2016

Corps report on sustainability, kinda

Good news corporations are reporting on sustainability-related issues, especially those risks associated with operating a business that does not account or consider the areas where they are not sustainable. Operations in the UnSustainable Zone have lots of risks such as, for example, the company may not really be profitable. Cheap coal, is not nearly so cheap when you figure in all the negative externalities: pollution, health, CO2, coal ash...

Check out this WSJ article about the reporting, or lack thereof, of sustainability by large companies. First, 81% of companies report something, but 52% of those reporting used "boilerplate language to flag the risks without articulating management response strategies."  That would mean, if I understand it correctly, that only 42% of big firms report meaningful information on sustainability and the risks to the organization. But using Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, or SASB, would give the reader/investor meaningful information about the true profitability (economic profit) and the underlying risks. (See wikipedia on SASB or

I know what you are thinking... These area the same types of risks that Sarbanes-Oxley was supposed to address. If the risks are real, and material, then they must be meaningfully assessed and reported. Right?

Top Companies Are Disclosing Sustainability Risks, But Not The Way Investors Want

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