More companies in the U.S. are reporting on sustainability practices under the Global Reporting Initiative, says a new report. The Sustainability Practices 2015 study from The Conference Board, a business research firm, shows the number of S&P 500 firms using the guidelines grew to 31% in 2014, up from 25% in 2013. Smaller companies are also getting more involved with reporting, with 25% of companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue reporting, up from 15% in the previous year.
Third-party verification of sustainability reports is growing as well, with 12% of S&P 500 companies issuing assurance with their reports. However, the authors note that the scope of the verification varies depending on the report, with assurance extending to the full sustainability report in just 30% of 2013 GRI reports. The study also found that companies are prioritizing climate change, with 27% of the S&P 500 including climate considerations in their annual filings with the SEC, a dramatic rise over 5% in 2013.