Creating Value: How Occupational Health and Safety Is Being Integrated Into Financial Reporting and Why You Should Care
Terms like “sustainability” and “corporate social responsibility” are not new. They’ve been around for 20 years or more. What is new is the financial investment community’s recognition of the value of collecting and reporting material nonfinancial information as part of the measurement of organizational value.
More and more, corporations are recognizing that material nonfinancial information is important to investors and analysts. While they may have declined to participate in sustainability reporting a few years ago, corporations are discovering that the long-term viability of their operations is being judged not only on profitability, but on nonfinancial factors as well. This means that a growing number of organizations are including occupational safety and health data in “integrated” reports that include financial and nonfinancial information.
This means that a career- and practice-changing opportunity is presenting itself to occupational safety and health professionals, says Kathy Seabrook, chairperson of the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability, which just released the report “The Accounting Revolution and the New Sustainability: Implications for the OHS Professional.”
“Safety and health professionals don’t have a clue, don’t understand their leadership role in their company’s enterprise risk management,” Seabrook said in an interview.
The new report by the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability claims that integrated reports on performance tell a business’ stakeholders of its ability to create value in a sustainable way and feature data on a range of nonfinancial matters. This means that “human capital” issues such as the mental and physical health of the workforce and employee engagement are considered material to a company’s performance, just like balance sheets and statements of cash flow.