The landscape of corporate reporting continues to rapidly shift; with increasing pressure from investors, stakeholders, and conscious-consumers alike, companies are now being expected to disclose the full dearth and extent of their organizational activities, alongside the impacts of these activities on the environment, on relevant communities, and on the broader goals for governance and policy-level coordination.
In Pakistan, the government and businesses alike have demonstrated a keen commitment to demonstrate how they intend to create and communicate value. This process has involved such companies to actively and thoroughly report on how they invest in their human and intellectual resources, how they manage their consumption and emissions, and how they contribute towards a just, corruption-free, and equal society.
A number of reporting frameworks and standards now dominate the ESG narrative, and investors have increasingly demanded companies to adhere to reporting outlines which are measurable, comparable, transparent, and holistic. It is here that the Integrated Reporting Framework Standards are observed as the internationally-benchmarked reporting outlines, providing audiences with accurate, comparable, and consistent ESG data.
Regulation has also undergone a shift wherein companies are now transitioning from voluntary to compulsory reporting; in Pakistan, the SECP required all public companies to disclose CSR activities in annual financial statements through the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-Order, 2009’. In 2016, the Pakistan government adopted the SDGs and implemented a sustainability initiatives under ‘Pakistan Vision 2025’ and a corresponding reporting requirement under corporate law.
Identifying a company’s ESG risks and opportunities has become the need of the hour, and combining such data in a manner that seamlessly communicates the organization’s vision, strategic goals, and comparability with peers is where Integrated Reporting becomes all the more crucial.