Kingfisher’s CR reporting assurance processes have been praised in a report on the current state of CR assurance in the UK, published by Smart Sustainability, a subsidiary of the consultancy Carbon Smart.
The report, ‘Just off the Starting Blocks – Benchmarking Sustainability and Carbon Assurance in the FTSE350’, examines the assurance statements published in the sustainability reports of companies in the FTSE350. Kingfisher was rated as a leading company (‘at the front of the pack’) with a clear assurance statement describing a comprehensive engagement.
The report commends Kingfisher for having three separate assurance processes: an annual review of its CR Report by a stakeholder panel of CR experts, an independent review of its CR data by auditors, and a programme of internal audits. See CR assurance for details.
The report found that the vast majority of the carbon and environmental claims made by FTSE350 companies lack credibility and verification. It reveals that only 75 companies – fewer than 25% – publish some form of assurance to verify or back-up the sustainability data they publish. The report comes at a time of growing concern about “greenwash” – claims made by companies that are either unsubstantiated or misleading. It calls for more consistency in assurance standards to ensure credibility of sustainability and carbon claims.