The ECGS Dutch partner, Shareholder Support, conducts a study on KPIs and sustainable performance

An empirical analysis concerning the use and development of KPIs on sustainability performance reporting for the largest stock listed firms in the Netherlands.

"This research provides an analysis of the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the sustainability reporting by the largest Dutch publicly listed firms. Eumedion, the Dutch Corporate Governance platform, instigated the research question. The current report provides a detailed empirical analysis of contemporaneous sustainability1 reporting practices in the Netherlands. Our study focuses on the AEX and AMX companies listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Companies’ disclosure practices regarding sustainability will be benchmarked against a checklist of criteria. The criteria are based on indicators derived from several guidelines and existing frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Dutch Accounting Standards Board (Raad voor de Jaarverslaggeving; RJ), and the German-European DVFA/EFFAS. The analysis also contains a literature review to identify additional criteria from sustainability standards and these complementary criteria have also been added to our checklist. Based on this, a checklist is constructed that comprises 46 separate disclosure items, classified into 6 different categories.
The subsequent analysis of companies’ transparency regarding sustainability shows there is a large diversity in reporting practices. For example, some items that are frequently reported are the number of employees and energy improvement targets. On the other hand, only a few companies provide information about their land use. None of the AEX and AMX companies provide all the information on the 46 items that are included in our checklist. As listed companies and institutional investors are still in the process of finding the appropriate and material KPIs in relation to their ESG-performance and strategy, there is both room and need for further improvement on either side of the investment spectrum.
We believe the findings presented in this study, along with our recommendations, provide a number of valuable new insights. Our report also attempts to draft a roadmap for the future of sustainability reporting."