Sustainability Practices: 2018 Edition—Trends in Corporate Sustainability Reporting in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific
The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 

Sustainability Disclosure Practices

Sustainability Practices: 2018 Edition—Trends in Corporate Sustainability Reporting in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific

December 07, 2018 | Report

Sustainability reporting remains sporadic in countries where both nonfinancial reporting regulations and stakeholder pressures are absent. Even in Europe, where nonfinancial reporting has had a longer history compared to other regions, there are significant differences in levels of transparency across countries. For example, there is as wide a gap in the levels of disclosure between companies in the United Kingdom and Poland as there is between companies in Japan and Pakistan.

The lack of comparable nonfinancial reporting regulations across jurisdictions has in part made sustainability reporting a globally uneven practice. In a few countries, mandatory nonfinancial reporting requirements have led to significant increases in disclosure rates. In the absence of mandated disclosure, in some countries industry-led initiatives and stakeholder pressure have also been major drivers of disclosure.

This 2018 edition of our analysis of trends in corporate sustainability reporting uncovers some of the gaps in nonfinancial disclosure, identifies areas where progress has been made, and highlights key issues that companies should keep on their radars. We analyzed data on sustainability disclosure and performance on 90+ environmental and social practices for more than 5,000 companies in 23 countries, spanning Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.

Corporate sustainability reporting—the disclosure of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of a company—has evolved tremendously over the last two decades, growing from a niche practice to one increasingly expected of companies. The mainstreaming of sustainability reporting has been driven, in part, by increased pressure from shareholders and other stakeholders who see value in understanding how a company manages its nonfinancial impacts. This message was made clear by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in his 2018 letter to company CEOs. Reporting is also being helped along by pointed regulations in various regions. Whether the combination of regulatory requirements and shareholder pressure will improve actual sustainability performance, not just compliance, remains to be seen.

Sustainability reporting is still not a uniform pr

This publication is exclusive to members of The Conference Board.
For information about membership click here.



Former Principal Researcher
The Conference Board


ESG Center Leader, Europe
The Conference Board


Former Research Director, Asia
The Conference Board


Webcasts, Podcasts and Videos

Upcoming Events

Press Releases / In the News

Expert / Author

Powered By