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India leads world on CR reporting

News, 30 November 2015

NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE: From previously lagging behind, Asia-Pacific has risen to become the leading region for corporate responsibility (CR) reporting with India among the top 10 countries in the world, a new report has revealed.

According to professional services firm KPMG, more companies in Asia-Pacific (79%) report on CR than in the Americas (77%), Europe (74%) and elsewhere.

After analysing reporting practices in 4,500 companies across 45 nations, KPMG found the improvement in Asia-Pacific was driven by countries such as India, Taiwan and South Korea where improved reporting requirements have been introduced.

India saw the biggest jump in CR reporting, rising from just 20% in 2011 to 73% in 2013 and 100% in 2015 (up 27%), the highest among the 45 countries.

Apart from India, other countries that saw significant increases in CR reporting compared to 2013 were Norway (+17%), South Korea (+25%) and Taiwan (+21%).

"It is encouraging to see that India is leading, with all top companies reporting on CR, but we can see through this survey that the quality of Indian reports can improve further," said Mritunjay Kapur, partner and head of risk consulting at KPMG India, in comments to India Infoline.

The report also focused on the quality of carbon reporting among the world's 250 largest companies (G250).

Santhosh Jayaram, director-sustainability at KPMG India, said he hoped the report would "encourage corporates to take more pro-active steps to help mitigate climate change".

He disclosed that 62% of Indian companies identify climate change as a material issue, but only 42% of the top 100 companies in India report on carbon emissions compared to 80% of the top 250 companies in the world.

With sustainability and environmental concerns gaining momentum around the world, recent research from Nielsen has shown that consumers, particularly millennials, are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced products.

Nielsen's survey of more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries found almost three-quarters (72%) of millennial respondents are willing to pay more for such products, up from just 55% in 2014.

Data sourced from KPMG, India Infoline, Livemint, Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff