In recent years, the sustainability reporting has taken on increasing importance, as a result of major society and regulators' expectations on companies’ ethical behaviour. There has been the development of shared global standards for increasing the usability and comparability of ESG information published by organisations.
In the past decade, the Italian Banking Association has supported the Italian banks to conduct experiments in sustainability reporting, that have since become established practice, with the aim of presenting sustainability reports that are increasingly functional to managing and maximising extra-financial aspects. In 2014 banks representing 75% of total assets in the system published sustainability reports.
On this basis, in 2014 the Italian Banking Association promoted meetings with member’ banks to further exploring the issues related to the challenges and opportunities posed by the development of sustainability reporting, with a focus on management methods that can turn such reports into strategic tools for bank sustainability.
The meetings, which concerned Materiality Analysis, Stakeholder Engagement, Corporate Social Responsibility Communication and Integrated Reporting, dealt with the issues from the standpoint of both theory and best practices, through direct accounts from those who support businesses and the businesses themselves, in the banking and other sectors.
The challenges posed by the issues raised relate to the desire and ability of businesses to consider economic, environmental and social sustainability as the main drivers of their growth and competitiveness on the market, and thus as capable of improving the management of their businesses, with advantages in terms of increased profitability and the creation of shared value.
The Italian Banking Association, with the involvement of meeting participants and representatives of banks, consulting firms and other companies, has gathered together the various accounts into a single document so as to contribute to reflection on the issue and support affected businesses in developing increasingly efficient transparency practices in sustainability reporting.
The Report is available here: http://www.abi.it/Pagine/Societa/Csr/Banche-e-Csr.aspx