Report sets new benchmark for corporate sustainability in Africa
The UN Global Compact and newspaper group Financial Times have produced the first benchmark for CSR in Africa. The joint initiative, the Africa Sustainability Barometer, gauges the state of corporate sustainability reporting on the continent and covers more than 1,000 international companies, as well as local and regional firms.
While corporate reporting on issues of sustainability in Africa remains patchy, the Barometer highlights the need to expand the scope of reporting. For those who understand how sustainability affects their corporate performance, increased reporting and integration of the sustainability agenda looks likely, says the report. For companies who operate in a more isolated manner, and for the many smaller companies who are not in the public eye, advocacy work has a long way to go.
“With the Africa Sustainability Barometer, we hope to shine a light on the current efforts by companies to report on their sustainability, make the case for the value of comprehensive reporting, and encourage more companies across the continent to commit to responsible practices,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.
Covering the scope of corporate sustainability, the Barometer assesses human rights, labour and employment, environment, anti-corruption as well as corporate governance and supply chain management.
“A growing number of investors now include environmental, social and governance (ESG) in their due diligence and risk assessment as important factors in making investment decisions. Companies that have a coherent and effective approach to ESG stand out. As such, sustainability can play an important role in driving investment to the continent, and attracting the long-term capital it needs,” said Lanre Akinola, Editor, This is Africa, Financial Times.
You can download the Africa Sustainability Barometer here.