How much do companies spend on their sustainability report?
Percentage of annual work hours
We asked how many of the responding person’s own annual work hours are devoted to the sustainability report. About half of the respondents answered between 10–20 percent, which corresponds to about 200–400 hours. Only one respondent devotes more than half of the annual work hours on the production of the sustainability report, in 2018 that figure was 5.
How many people are responsible for the content internally?
How many people contribute to the content?
Internal hours invested
Industry, size, ownership and years of reporting all play roles in hours spent
The number of internal hours spent on the entire sustainability report production still varies quite a lot between the companies in the survey, which is illustrated above. In 2018, looking at all respondents, 655 hours were spent and this year the amount of hours is 692. The preparers of their first or second sustainability report spent 550 (2018: 500) hours and the ones reporting for 3 years or more spent 750 (714) hours.
Similar to what we saw in 2018, entities that have reported for a longer period of time, tend to use more frameworks, principles and guidelines which can be part of the explanation for spending more hours. Large entities with more than 10,000 employees spend about 60 percent more hours compared to entities with less than 1,000 employees.
Respondents working in the ‘Financial’ and ‘Energy’ sectors used up to five times the amount of hours than respondents in the ‘Information technology’ and ‘Healthcare’ sectors, which were the industries with the lowest amount of hours invested.
The ownership of an entity also plays a role in how much time that goes into the sustainability report process. Companies that are not listed but have several external owners spend the least amount of hours on average, 605, followed by the listed companies, 658. In our last survey compared to that previous, the publicly owned entities spent around 45 percent more hours in fact. We do need to keep in mind that the selection of companies was expanded this year and even if there is quite a significant part of recurring respondents, it is difficult to draw far-reaching conclusions.
Assumptions: the annual working time is 2,000 hours, the responsible person’s time has been calculated as the reported share of the annual working hours. The working group’s time has been counted as 25 percent of the responsible person’s time. Others have contributed 2 hours per person.
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