Internationally, the most commonly used standard for reporting on CSR is the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) G3 Guidelines, prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme. It comprises principles that guide reporting, and reporting indicators.
In the G3 Guidelines, the principles defining report contents are materiality, stakeholder inclusiveness, sustainability context, and completeness, while those defining report quality are balance, comparability, accuracy, timeliness, reliability, and clarity. However, not all corporate responsibility reports by Finnish enterprises which have applied the GRI G3 reporting guidelines have been verified by outside organisations.
Reporting requirements comprise the following: 1) strategy and analysis, 2) organisational profile, 3) report parameters, 4) governance, 5) commitments and engagements, 6) management approach and 7) indicators for financial, social and environmental responsibility.
Other international standards related to the assessment, measuring and reporting of the responsibility of enterprises and of other work communities include the AA 1000 and ISO 26000. Furthermore, some Finnish industrial federations have compiled industry-specific reporting guidelines, e.g. the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation, and Finenergy, the central federation of the energy industry. Moreover, separate international and Finnish assessment indicators and standards for corporate environmental responsibility have been published, such as the ISO 14001 and the Carbon Disclosure Project. For instance, the ISO 26000 and the assessment and reporting guidelines of industrial federations do not require verification by an external organisation as the GRI G3 does. Investors can utilise the corporate responsibility reporting and assessment data of enterprises.
In addition, sound and open corporate governance in enterprises promotes their responsibility. In Finland, the Securities Market Association established by the Central Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK and NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd has developed and updated the Finnish Corporate Governance Code for companies listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. The Code harmonises the practices of listed companies as well as the information given to shareholders and other investors. It also improves the transparency of administrative bodies, management remuneration and remuneration policies. The aim of the Code is that Finnish listed companies apply corporate governance practices that are of a high international standard. Several recommendations of the Code are based on legislation or other regulation.