Taiwan has seen a surge in sustainability reporting since 2014
06 July 2016

​Sustainability reporting in Taiwan rose by 64% between 2014 and 2015 according to a recent study by BCSD Taiwan, Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), and Taipei Exchange (TPEx). The study, Non-Financial Reporting Survey in Taiwan 2015, explored the value of sustainability disclosures to both global and local stakeholders and analysed over 400 sustainability reports published by Taiwanese companies. Here we take a closer look at the findings.
​Over 90% of the reports were published by listed companies, reflecting a global trend that regulation is the driving force of sustainability reporting (in 2014, TWSE mandated that listed companies in specific industries, i.e. food processing, chemical, and financial services, and those whose paid-in capital is above NT$10 billion are required to issue a standalone CSR report in accordance with GRI's G4 Guidelines). In the study, multinational corporations accounted for 75% of reports, while 23% were issued by large enterprises. A total of nine non-profit organizations and small or medium enterprises voluntarily issued reports. 

Use of the GRI G4 Guidelines was also remarkably high (83%), as well as the use of external assurance (44%). 

The study also looked into the quality of these reports, for example, by examining the process of identifying material aspects and their boundaries, as well as the inclusion of GRI G4 Content Index, where it was found there is substantial room for improvement. Several recommendations were made for companies to further enhance the value of the reporting process, such as deeper understanding of G4, focus on materiality, better use of Disclosures of Management Approach, and improving the credibility of data. 

“We hope that the results of this analysis can provide a baseline for continuing observation of the quality of non-financial information disclosure in Taiwanese companies, as well as being an important source of information on non-financial information disclosure for interested stakeholders and responsible investors inside and outside Taiwan”, says Cheng-Tsung Huang, Chairman of BCSD Taiwan.

Asthildur Hjaltadottir, Director GRI Services, spoke at the launch of the study, “GRI welcomes the initiatives of its longstanding partner, BCSD Taiwan, TWSE, and TPEx, to promote sustainability reporting in Taiwan. These efforts increase transparency and accountability and demonstrate commitment by the Taiwanese market to maximize the value of the sustainability reporting process. This will in time have a positive effect on the economy in the region and also worldwide given Taiwan’s role within the global supply chain.”