German company green reports get better

Survey claims environmental reporting by top companies improving in both quantity and quality

German corporate environmental reporting has improved in quality and quantity over the last year, according to a survey by national environmental economics think-tank IÖW. The report claims that nearly half of Germany's 150 largest firms now provide clear information on environmental management practices, emissions levels, use of resources, and waste production.

In its fourth survey since 1994, IÖW records 44% of Germany's 150 biggest enterprises reporting on their environmental impacts by February this year, including major manufacturers, banks, and service providers. The figure is a substantial increase on a 1999 statistic of 36%, estimated by accountancy firm KPMG last year (ENDS Daily 6 September 1999).

Germany is now among the forerunners in corporate green reporting, second only to the Netherlands where reporting is mandatory, Thomas Löw of IÖW told ENDS Daily today. At the same time, IÖW has pointed out weaknesses in national corporate reporting standards.

With a few exceptions, "companies have not taken advantage of the internet possibilities of environmental reporting or the idea of producing environmental reports for clients or business partners," IÖW concludes. Sustainability reporting "remains a hollow word in most cases," they add.

In sectoral terms, the chemical industry tops the IÖW list, with 55% of large companies producing environmental reports, closely followed by utilities, such as telecoms firms, at 54.5%.

Follow Up:
IÖW, tel: +49 30 884 5940 and the survey.

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