stock market loss
Klyaksun /iStockphoto

Canadian companies fall short on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, which bodes poorly for their long-term value creation, says PwC Canada.

The international consulting firm analyzed ESG reporting across 150 top organizations based on revenues and market capitalization, assessing such things as assurance and strategy in their ESG reporting.

Among the findings in the inaugural report on ESG reporting: only 20% of organizations had some type of assurance over their ESG information, and only 41% had ESG reports showing how sustainability is a fundamental part of their core strategies.

That left 59% that weren’t including sustainability-related information in their annual reports beyond a dedicated corporate social responsibility section, PwC said.

“The ESG reporting of the country’s top companies is, on the whole, falling short of the requirements demanded by capital markets and stakeholders,” the report said. “That’s leaving organizations susceptible to perceptions of greenwashing and at risk of missing opportunities for long-term value creation.”

ESG disclosure is so far voluntary but has caught the attention of regulators. The Canadian Securities Administrators have consulted on both diversity- and climate-related disclosure, with a consultation on proposed climate-related disclosure requirements ended last week.