About a third (34 per cent) of the companies on the S&P/TSX composite index are meeting the reporting requirements for environmental, social and governance standards by disclosing the metrics of all of their sustainability related risks and opportunities, according to a new report by consultancy Millani.
The report, which reviewed ESG standards in Canadian public companies, found there’s still a long way to go when it comes to accurately reporting these organization’s impact actions. It found fewer than 10 per cent of companies disclose capital deployment towards the realization of transition plans and climate-related goals.
Millani’s report is related to two newly issued global standards — IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 — from the International Financial Reporting Standards, which were introduced in June.
“While 53 per cent of Canadian issuers that published an ESG report undertake climate scenario analysis at some level, IFRS S2 expects issuers to provide more comprehensive information about inputs, assumptions, time horizons and findings of scenario analyses — a level of expected transparency which very few issuers presently meet,” stated the report.
Despite seeing 65 per cent of issuers aligning with the sustainable development goals standard from the United Nations, the report expressed concern around the increase of ‘SDGwashing’ as only four per cent of issuers are disclosing both positive and negative contributions when referring to sustainable development goals.
According to the report, there’s a noticeable decrease in the number of issuers (71 per cent) publishing an ESG report by Aug. 31 compared to last year (80 per cent). “This prompts the question whether the delay could be attributed to an increase in time-consuming assurance procedures or the high costs associated with reporting in inflationary times.”
A similar report from Millani earlier this year reaffirmed the commitment from 40 Canadian institutional investors, representing more than $5.8 trillion in assets under management, to support companies aiding in the transition to a lower carbon economy.