Do things right and talk about it – non-financial reporting in the spotlight
Zurich, January 29, 2021 - Dealing with challenging developments in the economic, political and regulatory environment is increasingly challenging for decision-makers. Boards of directors and executive managements are the guardians of the reputation of a company. Their business conduct, corporate governance, ethical and socially responsible behavior (Corporate Social Responsibility "CSR" or Ecological, Social, Governance "ESG" issues) are increasingly in the focus of stakeholders. Ultimately, they are decisive for the success of a company. But how to communicate effectively with the various stakeholder groups? Concrete action and the willingness of companies to increase transparency and dialog on ESG are expected. But stakeholders have to enter this dialog and make an effort to understand the individual situation of a company. Although there are countless reporting standards, initiatives and ratings out there, there is no common denominator yet as to what non-financial reporting should ideally look like, though views are starting to converge. The critical issue remaining is that non-financial information often cannot be forced into an overly tight corset of standards. The upcoming obligation for companies listed in Switzerland to submit a non-financial report to a shareholder vote illustrates the relevance of this type of information and the urgency to improve or develop such reporting.