New Research Highlights Need for Greater Corporate Sustainability Reporting in Africa

New York, United States of America

(New York, 20 September 2013) – Covering more than 1,000 international companies with operations in the region, as well as local and regional companies, the Africa Sustainability Barometer gauges the state of corporate sustainability reporting on the continent. A new joint initiative of the United Nations Global Compact and the Financial Times’ This is Africa publication, the Barometer provides the first benchmark for the state of corporate sustainability on the continent.

Corporate reporting on issues of sustainability in Africa remains patchy; the Barometer highlights the need to expand the scope of reporting. For those who understand how sustainability affects their corporate performance, increased reporting and integration of the sustainability agenda looks likely. For companies who operate in a more isolated manner, and for the many smaller companies who are not in the public eye, advocacy work has a long way to go.

“With the Africa Sustainability Barometer, we hope to shine a light on the current efforts by companies to report on their sustainability, make the case for the value of comprehensive reporting, and encourage more companies across the continent to commit to responsible practices,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.

Covering the scope of corporate sustainability, the Barometer assesses human rights, labour and employment, environment, anti-corruption as well as corporate governance and supply chain management.

The Barometer comes at a time when Africa is attracting unprecedented levels of foreign investment, but faces steep hurdles in improving governance and regulation to ensure that the current wave of capital flowing into the continent is supportive of inclusive and sustainable growth.

“A growing number of investors now include environmental, social and governance (ESG) in their due diligence and risk assessment as important factors in making investment decisions. Companies that have a coherent and effective approach to ESG stand out. As such, sustainability can play an important role in driving investment to the continent, and attracting the long-term capital it needs,” said Lanre Akinola, Editor, This is Africa, Financial Times

Launched during the UN Private Sector Forum: Africa, held during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013 in New York, the Barometer is intended to be issued annually, and will be a source of information on the changing role of sustainable business as a means to achieve development objectives in Africa. Additionally, it will be a practical tool for practitioners, investors, civil society and Government.

Follow the conversation via twitter using the official Leaders Summit and UN Private Sector Forum Africa Hashtags: #LS2013 and #PSFAfrica

Media Contacts

UN Global Compact
Kristen Coco
Public Affairs and Media Relations
+1 917-288-0787

This is Africa
Lanre Akinola

About This Is Africa

This Is Africa seeks to examine African business and politics in a global context and to make sense of the relationships that Africa is building with the rest of the world. It aims to challenge international preconceptions about the continent and to identify the opportunities and the risks in this dynamic business environment. This Is Africa is part of the Financial Times Ltd. For more information go to

About the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

Chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013: Architects of a Better World (19-20 September) brings together chief executives with leaders from civil society, Government and the United Nations to unveil a new global architecture for corporate sustainability. As the Millennium Development Goals 2015 deadline approaches, the Summit will set the stage for business to shape and advance the post-2015 development agenda – putting forward an architecture for business to contribute to global priorities, such as climate change, water, food, equality, decent jobs, and education, at unprecedented levels.