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sustainability transparency February 17, 2020

Posted by Bradley in : disclosure, transparency , trackback

Two stories today relating to disclosure and transparency with respect to sustainability:

First, the Alliance for Corporate Transparency published a report analyzing disclosures under the EU’s Non-financial Reporting Directive which concludes that although disclosure is happening, it is not particularly useful, although there are variations:

The main conclusion of this research is that while there is a minority of companies providing comprehensive and reliable sustainability-related information, at large quality and comparability of companies’ sustainability reporting is not sufficient to understand their impacts, risks, or even their plans.

Second, the Extinction Rebellion dug up some of the lawns at Trinity College in Cambridge in protest about the College’s fossil fuel investments and plans to allow farming property it owns near Felixstowe Port to be used for operations related to the Port (a plan that seems not to be going ahead because there is other available non-farming land in the vicinity). Trinity responded that the College supports the University’s Cambridge Zero project. But the story raises similar issues to those identified  in the Alliance for Corporate Transparency report: how much of what academic and business organizations are saying about their commitments to sustainability is real? 

Trinity’s questionable commitment to collective rather than its own institutional welfare is also illustrated by  news stories about its decision to pull out of the USS pension scheme (to avoid the risk that its immense financial resources might be called on if the scheme needed an influx of funds). 

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