Study reveals need for improved corporate reporting
Friday 4th August 2017
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
A new report, The Need for Standardized Sustainability Reporting Practices, has been released by the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS) following its study into the reporting by organisations listed on the Corporate Knights Global 100 -- those it judged the most sustainable in the world.
It follows a similar study in 2013, with the CSHS concluding that both show corporate reporting on health and safety lacks rigour.
The new report analysed publicly-reported data between June and December 2016, identifying changes in reporting practices over the past four years related to occupational safety and health sustainability.
It showed little improvement between these lists of 'sustainable corporations' in complying with common safety and health performance indicators. The study found high variability on data collection methodology, reporting formats, and terms and definitions used in reporting.
Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IOSH, said: "IOSH advocates meaningful and comparable reporting on occupational safety and health (OSH) as a driver to improved performance and is pleased to support the CSHS guidance on this.
"We believe the CSHS 2013 research findings into the reporting practices of the Corporate Knights 'Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations' and this follow-up CSHS study showing continued weakness, both highlight the need to improve reporting and increase consistency."
IOSH is a founding member of CSHS, whose member organisations represent more than 100,000 workplace safety and health professionals around the world.
Richard added: "IOSH believes it's important that the global reporting culture improves and that sustainability indexes, reporting standards, investors, regulators and OSH professionals all promote effective OSH management and standardised reporting as key to transparency and sustainable business."
The CSHS goal is for organisations to incorporate worker safety and health as part of their sustainable business practices -- with safety and health performance indicators allowing companies to compare themselves and better understand where to improve.
The report calls for the adoption of two key indicators on occupational safety and health management systems -- tracking how many of a company's work locations implement such systems, and how many are audited by an independent third party. CSHS also suggests that businesses measure workplace safety and health in their supply chains. One sustainability leader reported no employee fatalities, but did report 27 deaths in its supply chain.
Kathy Seabrook, Chair of the CSHS Board of Directors, said: "We've learned through our two studies that voluntary sustainability reporting lacks rigour and fails to yield the meaningful data needed to effectively evaluate corporate safety and health performance.
"The disclosure of data needs to be standardised to help put companies on a truly holistic path to sustainability that recognises the well-being of workers along with the environment."
"Understanding more fully these challenges brings us closer to CSHS's goals."
IOSH has done a large amount of work in the area of sustainability and corporate reporting. Some of its suggested reporting areas were included in the new EU Non-Financial Reporting Guidelines.
And, as part of IOSH's work to support businesses to improve corporate OSH reporting, it recently contributed to the OSH content of the Global Reporting Initiative new standard on sustainability reporting, which is due for consultation from 10 August to 9 October 2017 (watch the IOSH website for further details).
IOSH is also holding a multi-stakeholder panel debate on improving the visibility of 'social footprints' at IOSH 2017 at Birmingham ICC (21 November 2017). To pose a question to the panel, please send it to [email protected].
Delegates at the event will be able to get industry updates, information on legal developments and hear case studies showcasing how organisations promote health and wellbeing.The conference has been organised by four sector groups of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH): public services; education; environment and waste management; and health and social care.Now in its 42nd year, it is aimed at, but not restricted to, people who work in those sectors, including health and safety leaders, worker representatives, managers and consultants.
For leading organisations, health and safety programmes are a means of ensuring business continuity, brand equity, driving competitiveness and producing and creating new sources of value.This, according to IOSH’s Head of Product Jonathan Nobbs, means the health and safety profession “has a tremendous opportunity”.
The UK government has announced that former Health and Safety Executive chair Dame Judith Hackitt will head up the review, from which a final report is expected next spring.It will examine the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety. It will also look at related compliance and enforcement issues, as well as international regulation and experience in this area.
NHS England’s Cover Up, Mate campaign, supported by IOSH and its No Time to Lose campaign, has been exhibited at The New Forest and Hampshire County Show this week (25-27 July). Cover Up, Mate urges men who spend long periods of time outdoors to protect themselves against the sun. Farmers are a key focus of the campaign because of their potential prolonged exposure to solar radiation.
Risks associated with machinery, transport and livestock will be among themes, as will the effects of falls and incidents involving children on farms.Recently-published figures revealed that 27 workers were killed in work-related incidents on farms in Britain between April 2016 and March 2017. In addition, three members of the public died as a result of injuries sustained on farms, including a three-year-old child.
The copy for the following press release has been provided by NHS England.Eighty percent of people involved in country life in the South of England think outdoor workers are at greater risk of developing skin cancer due to longer exposure to the sun, a survey of Mole Valley customers suggests.But while more than half of respondents said that protecting yourself from the sun was “very important” more than a quarter said they “hardly ever” used suncream.