Non-financial reporting is on the rise. Some companies already have years of experience in reporting based on well-known standards such as GRI, SASB and many others. Other companies are just at the beginning of the journey. Some market players can be called ESG leaders, others withdrawn observers or stragglers. Regardless of the attitudes of boards of directors, ESG reporting is already mandatory or soon to be mandatory, and investors are already considering ESG performance as criteria for making decisions on financial exposure to companies.
Benchmarking is understanding one's position in ESG reporting. A picture showing how a company's non-financial reporting system is positioned. It's finding one's position on the issues most relevant to companies where there may be risk to investors and other stakeholder groups. Comparing to others is also a long-distance exercise to gather information and good patterns of ESG performance.
Transparency helps companies identify and address existing and potential sustainability issues, builds trust and support between the private and public sectors, and creates a credible and comparable basis for investment decisions. The financial argument for transparent non-financial reporting is to increase the chances of raising capital. It's simply worth checking out how others are doing it.
1. Individual Gap Analysis:
Includes the company’s data in the different categories benchmarked against the average of the relevant index of the company’s country.
2. Peer Group GAP Analysis:
Includes the company’s data in the different categories benchmarked against an individually chosen peer group (any required number) and against the average of the relevant index of the company’s country.
3. Additional analytics elements:
Sector benchmarks (averages) based on the SASB Industry codes
Indices (averages) chosen out of the 9 indices researched by the GEM 2022
Creation of individual basket to be benchmarked (companies and indices)
One example of benchmarking using the GEM (benchmark to the stock market index) is the operation of ZEN Energy in Australia. ZEN used the GEM 2021 methodology to evaluate its own ESG report. After a thorough evaluation against a benchmark of the top 50 ASX companies (2019), ZEN Energy's ESG report ranked at the top, scoring 50 points. Reference to the score is one of the key pieces of information presented in the report.
ZEN has worked on the task with Currie Communications – OneMulti’s and GEM partner.
More information and the above mentioned ESG report benchmarked by the GEM methodology is available here.