A credible sustainability report is transparent, impact- and stakeholder-oriented with regard to its material issues. In order to pin down the assessment per material issue, the Credibility Analysis was limited to companies that run a materiality assessment (65 reports) or clearly identified priority topics (17 reports). This led to a total of 82 out of 101 reports, which have been analyzed in the three credibility criteria. Read more about the methodology.
On average, all sectors score around 35%, with the ‘food and beverage sector’ scoring the highest with 54% (being the only sector scoring above the 50%-‘advancing level’ threshold) and energy supply/distribution scoring lowest with 26%.
Average industry score
- Food & beverage sector 54%
- Construction builders & suppliers 47%
- Other service providers 45%
- Medical & electrical engineering 44%
- Machine industry 44%
- Retail & wholesale trade 40%
- Gastronomy & hotels 36%
- Chemistry & pharmaceuticals 35%
- Real estate 35%
- Financial services 31%
- Insurance services 31%
- Manufacturing industry 29%
- Mobility, transport & logistics 28%
- Energy supply & distribution 26%
Reporting on achievements and downfalls (as for instance accidents, not-achieved targets), as well as challenges and risks linked to the material topics. Whenever possible, negative or critical incidents should be mentioned, and the related causes, remedies and conse-quences should be discussed.
Commitment to short- as well as medium- and long-term targets that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) and ideally impact-driven.
Disclosure of positive as well as critical stakeholder feedback (e.g. results of stakeholder dialogs or quotations of external stakeholders) regarding material issues, together with the company’s response.
A transparent disclosure of sustainability priorities includes not only positive disclosure, but also a negative or critical incidents, such as accidents, challenges or not-achieved targets. In those cases, the report should also disclose a response of the company explaining how it intends to overcome these issues.
Based on this set of criteria, only 3 companies (4%) report transparently about their material issues. Most companies report in a rather positive or neutral way.
An impact-oriented disclosure of sustainability priorities includes a commitment to short- as well as medium- and long-term targets that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) for all material issues. Ideally, the targets should also be impact-driven.
15% of the companies set at least one goal that fulfills these criteria. Every third company has set at least one SMART targets, however the majority has set rather qualitative targets.
A stakeholder-oriented disclosure of sustainability priorities includes a disclosure of positive as well as critical stakeholder feedback (e.g. results of stakeholder dialogs or quotations of external stakeholders) regarding material issues. Ideally the report also includes the company’s response.
Two companies meet these criteria. The majority gathers stakeholder feedback, but does not disclose further information regarding the specific feedback per material issue.