Experts: Companies must keep track of and report not only their finances, but also their treatment of individuals and the environment

On Thursday, 26 September, the association “Institute for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility” (InCSR) invited specialists from the largest and most responsible companies of Latvia to exchange experience and discuss non-financial reporting. During the event “Coca‑Cola HBC Latvia” and other companies shared best practice examples and participants sought answers to the question of how to invest time and other resources in non-financial reporting in a meaningful way in order to not only promote openness and efficiency of companies, but simultaneously reduce costs and show responsible attitude.

Increasingly more companies around the world and in Latvia report not only their financial results, but also their impact on employees, the environment and society. It is certainly affected by global developments, international regulation and civic society demand for more openness and reduced adverse effects caused by business. Moreover, businesses are beginning to realise that non-financial reporting helps them improve risk management and long-term outcomes in environmental and management matters, thereby promoting also competitiveness.

Upon surveying the attendees about the main criteria of a meaningful non-financial report, it was concluded that a meaningful non-financial report is based on a completely honest approach, as emphasised by nearly one third or 27.3 % of participants, followed by quality data (19.5 %). Of the range of topics covered, banking non-financial reports are most concerned with corporate governance and business ethics (28.4 %), followed by data privacy and protection matters (17.3 %) and client and consumer satisfaction aspects (14.8 %).

Non-financial reporting expert from Estonia Marko Siller stated: “All of the major companies must seek the most effective ways of demonstrating their progress and influence. If a company fails to do that, then it no longer speaks the same language as the rest of the business community — clients, suppliers and investors. Today, eloquent, self-laudatory words must be backed by data, measurable goals and real results.”

Public relations manager of SIA “Coca‑Cola HBC Latvia” Dace Dricka admitted that she is very pleased with the achievements of “Coca‑Cola HBC Latvia” in the area of sustainability, however wished to remind to those present that sustainable performance should never stop, which is why companies must focus on achieving sustainability goals in a long-term and strive to adequately inform society and stakeholders about achievements, because only this kind of approach would be viable in an environment that is dominated by corporate social responsibility.

The event was attended by representatives of more than 30 companies and organisations from various industries, including financing, mobile communications, energy, logistics, production, among others.

About association “Institute for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility”

The association “Institute for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility” (InCSR) was established in early 2011 with an objective to strengthen sustainable development of the nation and local communities, by educating society and raising awareness regarding responsible and forward-looking activity, and by fostering civic society development. InCSR offers reliable assessments, supports and promotes civic society activities, organises and takes part in various projects, seminars and campaigns about forward-looking and safe activity, as well as provides a platform for experience and opinion exchange.