Austrian ATX companies improve their sustainability communication compared to the previous year
- Sustainability communication of ATX companies exceeds the level of the previous year significantly
- Austrian Post AG with the best sustainability communication in the ATX
- Almost all companies report voluntary content beyond legal minimum requirements
- Action is still needed in the integrative understanding of sustainability and in the examination of non-financial content.
Hamburg, October 13th, 2022 - Austrian listed companies have significantly improved their sustainability communication compared to the previous year. This is the main result of this year's study by the Hamburg-based agency for financial and corporate communication Kirchhoff Consult AG, which was carried out under the leadership of the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.
As part of the study, the sustainability communication of the 39 companies in the Austrian stock index ATX Prime was examined. The analysis included three areas: quality of sustainability reporting, integrative sustainability understanding, and coherence of the presentation of sustainability issues in important communication formats. The individual ratings in these three categories were combined into a Sustainability Score.
On average, the companies in the ATX Prime achieved a Sustainability Score 55 %. This puts them behind the companies in the German benchmark index DAX (65 %), but ahead of the companies in the German mid-cap index MDAX (53 %), while last year they performed at the same level. The ATX also outperformed the German small-cap index SDAX (45 %) and the DAX160 (53 %), which includes all companies from the DAX index family. The Austrian companies were able to convince above all by providing comprehensive reporting beyond legal minimum requirements. However, there is still room for improvement in the integrative understanding of sustainability and in the external examination of non-financial content. In particular, the DAX companies perform significantly better in forecasting non-financial control variables and in the transparency of sustainability goals in compensation components.
Overall, seven companies in the ATX Prime achieved a Sustainability Score of 70% or more. The Austrian Post AG even achieved a value of 77% and thus took the top spot in this year's ranking ahead of the AMAG Austria Metall AG (73%). In third place were Wienerberger AG and Porr AG, followed by OMV AG, Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Lenzing AG in fifth place (each with 70%).
"The quality of sustainability communication of Austrian companies is overall solid and has developed very well over the past year," says Professor Dr. Henning Zülch from the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. He also emphasizes: "ATX Prime members can particularly convince with comprehensive reporting on voluntary sustainability content. The companies also score well in the transparent disclosure of EU Taxonomy quotas, the materiality process, and the involvement of their stakeholders."
"Austrian companies have caught up further in terms of the quality of sustainability reporting and exceed the level of German MDAX companies. Nevertheless, we see optimization potential, for example in external auditing and forecasting. Soon, the so-called Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will come into force. This will require higher requirements for ESG reporting," adds Jens Hecht, Managing Partner of Kirchhoff Consult AG.
The study with all results is available for download as a PDF on our company website.
ABOUT KIRCHHOFF CONSULT AG
With around 60 employees, Kirchhoff Consult is a leading communications and strategy consultancy for financial communications and ESG in German-speaking countries. For over 25 years, Kirchhoff has been advising clients on all aspects of financial and corporate communications, annual and sustainability reports, IPOs, investor relations, ESG and sustainability communications. 'Designing Sustainable Value': Kirchhoff combines content expertise with excellent design to create sustainable value.
Kirchhoff Consult is a member of TEAM FARNER, a European alliance of partner-led agencies. Their common goal: Building the European management consultancy for integrated communication.
Learn more at: kirchhoff.de