According to the latest publicly available information at the time of the analysis, around 90 Slovenian companies met the criteria for mandatory inclusion of non-financial information into their annual reports. However, only 33 of the reports we analyzed were prepared in accordance with the ZGD-1J. Six companies failed to include even a single legally required sustainability element, and more than half included insufficient disclosures. In general, the companies payed more attention to reporting on environmental, social and HR matters, and failed to disclose information on respect of human rights and anti-corruption matters.
European legislation allows the companies to report these matters in different reporting frameworks, currently there are more than 20. Our analysis of annual reports showed that Slovenian companies most often follow the GRI sustainability reporting standards. In 2017, GRI sustainability reporting framework was used by 93 % of the 250 biggest companies in the world, including 21 Slovenian companies.
When it comes to independent reviews of the reports by a third party, only four companies included into our analysis sought independent confirmation of their legal adequacy. Most European regulators, except for France, Italy and Spain, do not require a review of the non-financial part of the report. However, in 11 countries a reviewer must confirm that data in the sustainability report is consistent with the financial report. In Central, West and North Europe only large companies usually voluntarily submit their reports for review.
The results of our analysis show that most Slovenian companies do not recognize the importance of sustainability strategy and only do the bare minimum to meet the legal requirements. As such, our priority should be to spread awareness of opportunity afforded by sustainability reporting, as more and more stakeholders deem it just as important as the financial reporting. Company leaders must recognize the importance of sustainable development and follow examples of good practices from abroad, while also spreading information about their sustainability efforts through different channels.