The research conducted as part of the Reporting Exchange project supports the existing argument that the variety and overlap of corporate reporting provisions make this field complicated and confusing 1,2. The research has allowed us to draw the conclusions outlined in this paper:

• There are currently over 1000 reporting requirements for sustainability information, representing a 10-fold increase since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which are accompanied by around 750 reporting and management resources;

• The reporting landscapes of Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America have seen exponential growth in environmental, social and governance reporting requirements, while in South America the growth has been more linear and sustained;

• In recent years, reporting requirements have increasingly become voluntary for companies to follow, while also encouraging disclosures in mainstream annual reports; and

• The recent growth in the publication of reporting requirements has not been accompanied by a similar trend in the number of reporting and management resources, to assist companies towards more sustainable practices.

What becomes even clearer is the need to work towards the alignment and harmonization of sustainability reporting, focusing on both the national and international level. The insights, trends and developments that have been revealed and outlined here showcase the potential impact of the Reporting Exchange for corporate reporting. We believe the platform can support this process, acting as an evidence base and catalyst to evolve corporate reporting towards better practices.

By: WBCSD & CDSB

You can read the entire report here