Companies have been offered guidelines today to help them disclose their approach to corpora...
Companies have been offered guidelines today to help them disclose their approach to corporate social responsibility. The guidelines, issued by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), suggest companies include a range disclosures in their annual reports relating to Board responsibilities and to policies, procedures and verification.
The ABI hopes its guidelines will encourage companies to adopt best practice when responding to external social, ethical and environmental risks. The ABI says its guidelines should increase transparency without imposing unnecessary new burdens by setting out what institutional investors will expect to see disclosed in the annual reports of companies in which they hold stakes.
The ABI also published "Investing in Social Responsibility: Risks and Opportunities" by Roger Cowe today, which it describes as major new research that demonstrates the business case for Corporate Social Responsibility.
Peter Montagnon, ABI Head of Investment Affairs, said: "These guidelines bring concerns about social responsibility into the mainstream of investment thinking and practice. We are anxious to avoid unnecessary prescription or the imposition of costly burdens. Our focus is on enhancing value in companies through effective response to risks. Companies and shareholders will of course be able to go further if they wish."
Mary Francis, Director General of the ABI, commented: "We have talked to a wide range of fund managers, corporate executives and NGOs in preparing our guidelines. They represent an important opportunity for investors and companies to work together both to protect shareholder value and improve understanding of corporate social responsibility. Successful, responsible companies are good for society and for their shareholders."
More information can be found at www.abi.org.uk
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