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Sustainability Reporting for Stock Market Bonding

4 September 2006 - Features - Editor

Stock market rules do not make Sustainability Reporting mandatory, so why should you bother about it.

Most small investors on every stock market are aware that the financial reports which they receive as a matter of right are incomplete in many vital respects. There is so much that people would like to know about companies in which they have or plan investments, but most managements are focused on serving information needs of large financial institutions!

Sustainability Reporting guidelines are still in early stages of evolution, but they already make deep inroads in to information gaps that hamper the best decision making by small retail stock market investors. It yields insightful information of economic, environmental and social aspects of a company's operations.

This stock market reporting system highlights major risks and liabilities that every business faces, so reports over a period of time trace how they are managed and contained. The very process of report compilation should help executives tune in better to strategic aspects of their enterprises, about which they may not have had earlier occasions to ponder. The impact of business on suppliers and customers, the effect on nature and scarce resources, and the deployment of unfair labor practices in parts of product life-cycles, are but a few of the creative expressions that Sustainability Reporting encourages and fosters.

Stock market investors can know the companies which they jointly own much better through Sustainability Reporting. The system can build such durable bonds that people may soon avoid enterprises which do not subscribe to it-assuming that it remains voluntary! Sustainability Reporting has a blinding light of transparency, which is truly invaluable for people who grow accustomed to it.

A Sustainability Report is exhaustive, making it almost as difficult to read as it must be to compile. Each of the three sections on economic impact, environmental aspects and social practices covers a large number of factors, delving deep in to every corner of an enterprise. Reports for successive periods are especially valuable, as they record the progress of every company in matters of vital interest from a long term perspective.

Companies which are forward looking and diligent about Sustainability Reporting, deserve special respect and additional investment support, and they are great buys from a value appreciation perspective as well!

 


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