Publication / 20 Nov 2006

Environmental Disclosures: the First 100 FTSE All-Share Companies to Report under the New Company Law Reporting Requirements

Trucost assesses environmental disclosures of FTSE All-Share companies against reporting requirements of the EU Accounts Modernization Directive.

In January 2006, Defra published Government guidelines for company reporting using environmental key performance indicators. This report examines the first 100 annual reports and accounts produced by FTSE All-Share companies under this new reporting regime.

The report reveals evidence that there is more environmental reporting. However, much environmental reporting is still at a very basic level – it may be just a one-word mention of a key phrase that this study was designed to identify. Ninety six per cent of the companies referred to the environment in 2006, compared to 89 per cent in 2004. There has been an increase in the level of quantified disclosures. Nearly half of the companies surveyed provided statistics and figures. However, only 21 per cent provided quantified disclosures to enable meaningful comparisons between the environmental performance of companies.

Very few disclosures are comprehensive or enable shareholders to assess the environmental risks or opportunities facing a company. Only 16 companies made a disclosure in accordance with Government guidance, that is a disclosure which is an absolute quantitative figure that applies to the whole company. Only this level of disclosure allows an accurate assessment of a company’s environmental impacts and enable comparison.

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