3 Dec 20

KPMG survey on global trends in sustainability reporting

Skyscrapers_web-1KPMG released its 11th edition of the KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting this week. This annual survey has tracked monumental changes in sustainability reporting since the survey was first published in 1993. This year, KPMG professionals reviewed sustainability reporting from 5,200 companies across 52 countries and jurisdictions, making this the most extensive survey in the series to date.

The survey provides a detailed look at global trends in sustainability reporting and offers insights for business leaders, company boards and sustainability professionals. Its aim is to support those who have a responsibility for assessing and preparing their own organisation’s sustainability reporting.

The survey also serves as a guide to investors, asset managers and ratings agencies who now factor sustainability or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) information into their assessment of corporate performance and risk.

The 2020 survey focuses on four key aspects of sustainability reporting. Below is a summary of the key findings of the survey:

Key global trends in sustainability reporting

  • 80% of companies worldwide now report on sustainability
  • North America has the highest regional reporting rate (90% of companies)
  • 100% of the top 100 companies in Japan and Mexico report on sustainability
  • There has been a surge in integrated reporting in France, Japan, India and Malaysia since 2017
  • Third-party assurance of sustainability information in corporate reporting is now a majority business practice worldwide
  • GRI remains the dominant global standard for sustainability reporting


Reporting on the risks of biodiversity loss

  • Less than one-quarter of “at risk” companies worldwide currently report risks from the loss of biodiversity
  • Mining is the only “at risk” sector in which a majority of companies report risks from biodiversity loss.
  • Latin American companies lead in reporting of biodiversity-related risk; North American companies lag.

Reporting on climate-related risk and carbon reduction

  • Around 40% of companies now acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their reporting.
  • One in five companies reports climate risk in line with TCFD recommendations.
  • A majority of companies worldwide now have targets in place to reduce their carbon emissions.
  • There is a growing trend to link corporate carbon targets to global climate goals.

Reporting on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • A significant majority of companies now connect their business activities with the SDGs in their corporate reporting.
  • However, SDG reporting is often unbalanced and disconnected from business goals.
  • SDGs linked to economic growth, climate change and responsible consumption are most frequently prioritised by businesses.
  • SDGs linked to protecting biodiversity are least commonly prioritised by businesses


For more information on this survey and to download the full report, please visit The KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting 2020 webpage.


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Sustainability , ESG