We’ve written a lot at Business Wired on the subjects of disclosure and transparency, including the causal relationship between increased communication and capital market benefits. Looks like there’s even more evidence for transparency being good for companies’ bottom lines — and for lack of transparency hurting them:
After 11 years of publishing a list of the best corporate citizens, Corporate Responsibility Magazine plans to introduce in its April-May issue, out this week, its first-ever “black list” of the worst companies, or those that are the least transparent.
Transparency, as the magazine defines it, means making information about practices like employee benefits, climate-change policies or philanthropic efforts publicly available.
Dirk Olin, editor in chief of Corporate Responsibility Magazine, notes that, when compiling data for the article, they were able to find 30 corporations with no relevant data at all on those topics available publicly. That group includes such corporations as clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch and weight loss specialists Weight Watchers.
And what does that mean for shareholders of those companies?
The best corporate citizens list . . . had a total return on shareholder value of 2.37 percent over three years. But the 30 worst had a negative 7.38 percent return.
“Our aggregate analyses,” Mr. Olin said, “make a strong argument for the business case for transparency.”
Corporate Responsibility’s full “Black List” will be published next Wednesday, April 24.