To majority of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed companies, profit is more important than environmental, societal and corporate (ESC) issues, contrary to the general the public has of them being ‘highly compassionate’.
Results from a study by Legae Securities revealed that only 30 of the 100 companies scored above 50% and 20 companies less than 20%. Apparently, there is too much lip service to environmental, societal and corporate issues and no bold commitment. Peter Mushangwe, Head of Research at Legae Securities, who was one of the report’s authors, commented that the report unearthed poor or inadequate disclosure.
Legae Securities’ criterion is more credible than the JSE’s Social Responsible Index (SRI). It involves going through operations of the company as indicated in annual reports and determining where they are in line with the policies the company stands for.
Leaders and laggards have emerged. The leaders are: Barloworld, Reunert, Altech Alton, Adcock Ingram, Woolworths, Sun International, Liberty, Nampak, Nedbank and Murray and Roberts. The laggards anchoring the ranking are: Redefine International, Sibanye Gold, Rand Merchant Bank, Invicta, PSG Group, Revnet Investments, Capital Properties and New Europe Properties.