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Sustainability reporting fundamental for sustainable development: KPMG

AMSTERDAM: Sustainability reporting plays a fundamental role in contributing to governments' efforts in advancing towards sustainable development, according to the latest edition of the Carrot and Sticks report.

Carrot and Sticks, which is produced jointly by KPMG, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, also found sustainability reporting contributes towards economic growth, transparency, sustainability production and consumption patterns and building trust among governments' constituents.

The report was launched today on the third and final day of the GRI global conference on sustainability reporting. This edition covers 45 countries and regions and 180 sustainability reporting policies and initiatives, both triggered by governments and market regulators.

The emerging trends found include, an increase in 'report or explain' approaches in policy making and growing reference to existing frameworks, in an effort to harmonise requirements.

UNEP industry and economics division of technology director Sylvie Lemmet said word about the positive effects of corporate sustainability reporting is "spreading quickly" and governments have been quick to realise they have an "important" role to play.

"After introducing initiatives to promote it, governments have been rewarded with an almost immediate scaling up of the number of companies reporting."

KPMG global head of sustainability assurance Wim Bartels said the "rising interest from the financial world to see the full picture of a company, alignment between regulators would create a level playing field for business".

"Not just for disclosure, but primarily for what will make the difference ultimately: sistsaonable business for a prosperous society," he added.

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