FINANCE NEWS: Organisations are more interested in social reporting

Charities are becoming increasingly interested in social reporting, according to the Cooperative Bank.

Nick Websdell, business adviser in the bank's ecology department, said that, in the past six months, 14 charities have asked the bank, which has published an annual partnership report since 1997, for advice on social and environmental reporting.

Businesses are under intensifying pressure to disclose details of their performance on social and environmental issues, said Websdell. "Businesses and charities are operating in a cynical world and have to earn trust. The best way is to be open and honest,

he said.

Social reporting should not just be about producing a glossy brochure and should include negatives as well as positives, he said. A social report should cover the environmental record, equal opportunities and how the organisation served stakeholders such as donors and beneficiaries.

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