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‘Invisible’ consultants help companies write sustainability reports. Here’s why that’s a problem

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Business Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Companies globally are increasingly publishing sustainability reports, often crafted with the help of external consultants who present the data in a favorable light
• However, these reports, frequently not independently verified, can lead to greenwashing by selectively disclosing positive information

🔭 The context: The practice of using consultants for sustainability reporting has grown, particularly as reporting becomes mandatory in regions like Europe and Asia-Pacific
• In Australia, where such reporting is voluntary but common, 98% of top companies published reports last year, often using consultants to bolster their image

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The involvement of consultants can undermine the credibility of sustainability efforts, potentially masking the true environmental and social impacts of a company's operations
• This practice can hinder meaningful progress toward genuine ESG improvements

⏭️ What's next: To ensure transparency, there is a call for regulations requiring independent assurance of sustainability reports
• Additionally, companies should employ diverse expert teams and focus on genuine sustainability measures rather than superficial compliance

💬 One quote: "We urgently need to shine a light on consultants’ unseen involvement in sustainability reporting," stated Hendri Yulius Wijaya and Kate Macdonald

📈 One stat: 98% of top Australian companies published sustainability reports last year, many with the help of consultants

Click for more news covering the latest on sustainable finance

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