FEATURE12 June 2019

Seeing things clearly: radical transparency and research

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FMCG Features Impact Retail

Insight and data are helping some organisations to adopt a more ‘radically transparent’ approach, fostering trust and gaining a competitive advantage. By Rob Gray

Organisations are under increasing pressure to be more open about their business activities and supply-chain partners. However, the majority still fall short of the ideal.

Highlighting this point, the Alliance for Corporate Transparency recently published its 2018 Research Report, which examines the state of corporate sustainability disclosure under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive. The research found that only 50% of companies are publishing information on environmental matters that is clear on concrete issues, targets and principal risks. The picture on social and anti-corruption matters is even worse, with more than 60% not up to scratch.

Although most companies still have far to go, several organisations have led the way in making their business practices more visible – for example, by demonstrating the credibility of their supply chain to help consumers and clients make more informed decisions. This approach is often labelled ‘radical transparency’.

Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia is an oft-cited example of transparency; it’s very honest and open about how its products ...