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Undisclosed Risk: Corporate Environmental and Social Reporting in Emerging Asia (April 2009)

Undisclosed Risk: Corporate Environmental and Social Reporting in Emerging Asia (April 2009)

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Published by IFC Sustainability
A new series of reports from IFC and World Resources Institute (WRI) shines a spotlight on environmental risks and opportunities that will impact the financial performance of companies in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam and sounds the alarm that these risk and opportunities are overlooked by investors and companies in the region. Undisclosed Risk focuses on corporate transparency on environmental risks, and lays the groundwork for understanding environmental disclosure and reporting in emerging markets through an investor lens.

Undisclosed Risk is the second report in a series establishing the link between issues such as climate change, air pollution, water, and natural resource depletion and traditional financial analysis on corporate value and financial strength for companies in these six key Asian economies. Together with the Emerging Risk report [PDF], Undisclosed Risk sets the stage for a series of sector-specific reports to be published by IFC, WRI and HSBC later this year. The upcoming reports will identify material environmental risks and opportunities in the region’s food and beverage, real estate and power generation sectors.

The series of reports are sponsored by IFC and WRI, in partnership with the Japanese government.
A new series of reports from IFC and World Resources Institute (WRI) shines a spotlight on environmental risks and opportunities that will impact the financial performance of companies in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam and sounds the alarm that these risk and opportunities are overlooked by investors and companies in the region. Undisclosed Risk focuses on corporate transparency on environmental risks, and lays the groundwork for understanding environmental disclosure and reporting in emerging markets through an investor lens.

Undisclosed Risk is the second report in a series establishing the link between issues such as climate change, air pollution, water, and natural resource depletion and traditional financial analysis on corporate value and financial strength for companies in these six key Asian economies. Together with the Emerging Risk report [PDF], Undisclosed Risk sets the stage for a series of sector-specific reports to be published by IFC, WRI and HSBC later this year. The upcoming reports will identify material environmental risks and opportunities in the region’s food and beverage, real estate and power generation sectors.

The series of reports are sponsored by IFC and WRI, in partnership with the Japanese government.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: IFC Sustainability on Jun 28, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/26/2013

 
UNDISCLOSED RISK:
Corporate Environmental andSocial Reporting in Emerging Asia
DANA KRECHOWICZHIRANYA FERNANDO
 worldresourcesinstitute
 
Acknowledgements
This report would not have been possible without the financialsupport of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and grantfunding from the Government of Japan. IFC supports WorldResources Institute’s (WRI) research on financial materiality ofenvironmental risks in corporate valuation.
Undisclosed Risk 
is thesecond in a series of publications under this research collaboration.Special thanks to our WRI colleagues, Andrew Aulisi, Piet Klop, JanetRanganathan, Polly Ghazi, Manish Bapna, Charles Iceland, AmyCassara, Ray Cheung, Lalanath DeSilva, and Kirk Herbertson whogenerously contributed their time and expertise to reviewing manydrafts and versions of this report and improving the analysis. We arealso grateful for the thoughtful contributions by Kavita Prakash-Mani (formerly of SustainAbility), Sean Gilbert (Global ReportingInitiative), Geoffrey Mazullo (East-West Management Institute) andthe IFC’s Sustainable Investing team, especially Brunno Maradei. Wealso thank Jennie Hommel for managing the review process, AllisonSobel for her copy-editing and Barbieri & Green for their creativeefforts in designing the piece.Each World Resources Institute report represents a timely andscholarly treatment of a subject of public concern. WRI takesresponsibility for choosing the study topics and guaranteeing itsauthors and researchers freedom of inquiry. It also solicits andresponds to the guidance of advisory panels and expert reviewers.Unless otherwise stated, however, all the interpretations andfindings set forth in WRI publications are those of the authors.Whilst every effort has been taken to verify the accuracy of thisinformation, neither World Resources Institute, International FinanceCorporation nor their affiliates can accept any responsibility orliability for reliance by any person on this information.April 2009
Photo Credits: Cover photo: istockphoto.com Page 4 - Flickr ArtemFinland Page 8 - The Flat Earth Collection Page 12 – Flickr Swami Stream Page 20 - The Flat Earth Collection 
© 2009 World Resources Institute and International Finance Corporation. All rights reserved.
 
Foreword
The current global financial crisis has highlighted the need to manage risk and has given new impetus to anold debate in the investment community on how to value environmental risks. While evidence increasinglyshows that issues such as climate change and water scarcity pose material risks for companies, progress onpricing these externalities has been somewhat slower, particularly in emerging markets.In Europe, Japan and the United States, many corporations now measure and manage their emissions ofgreenhouse gases. There has also been a sharp rise both in environmental corporate reporting and in climate-related shareholder resolutions, reflecting demands from investors who want to know how companies aremanaging the risks and opportunities associated with a warming world. New and growing interest in theinvestment community on the issues of water scarcity, deforestation, and natural resource depletion, suggeststhat climate change may have opened a door through which a multitude of environmental issues are changingthe way the investors value companies.The relevance of environmental sustainability to investment must not be limited to London, New York, andTokyo. Emerging markets have grown at an unprecedented rate in the past 20 years, driven by investmentsmade by both local investors and large institutional investors in OECD countries, however insufficientinformation on how companies in emerging markets manage environmental risks and opportunities hindersinvestors’ ability to make sound long-term investment decisions. Understanding which environmental andsocial risks are material will help investors seek appropriate information from companies, asses corporatevalue, and direct capital to sustainable enterprise. Re-directing capital injected into South and SoutheastAsia’s growing economies toward less environmentally destructive economic activity will not only reduceinvestment risk, it will also help support the region’s long term prosperity.
Undisclosed Risk 
focuses on corporate transparency on environmental risks, and lays the groundwork forunderstanding environmental disclosure and reporting issues in emerging markets through an investor lens. It isthe second report in a series establishing the link between issues like climate change, air pollution, water supply,and natural resource depletion and traditional financial analysis on corporate value and financial strength forcompanies in six key Asian economies — India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.Greg Radford Jonathan LashEnvironment and Social PresidentDevelopment DirectorWorld Resources InstituteInternational Finance Corporation

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