Transparency in the IBEX 35: compliance and communication are key

10 May, 2024

Companies are not oblivious to the transformation of today’s society. Quite the contrary. Their mission is to contribute to the construction of a more sustainable economy, including the environmental, social, and corporate governance perspective – the ESG criteria.

Increasingly, employees, shareholders, investors, and various stakeholders demand to know how things are done. In this way, they can assess risks and opportunities within a company and make more informed decisions. Such is the relevance of this information that there are regulations on the criteria companies must take into account when reporting it.

This is where two key concepts for companies come into play: compliance and transparency. The first refers to their ability to ensure that their employees, subsidiaries, partners, or board members comply with current legislation, as well as policies, standards, or ethical practices. The second involves the dissemination of honest, clear, and accessible information about how they conduct their operations and the impact they have.

Corporate website: a window for compliance and transparency

Currently, it is estimated that over 67% of the world’s population – some 5.4 billion people – have access to the internet. As reported by the UN, this statistic reveals that we live in a world where individuals are increasingly seeking information anytime and anywhere.

In this context, the corporate website serves as an effective channel for companies looking to communicate their business practices. Compliance issues are no exception to this. The Haz Foundation has produced a report analysing the transparency of information published by the companies of the IBEX 35 concerning ethics and compliance.

The corporate website serves as an effective channel for companies looking to communicate their business practices in a transparent way

To assess the transparency of the listed companies, the entity considered four main aspects:

  • Information should be easily accessible and prominently placed on the website to facilitate user location.
  • Information should be unrestricted, ensuring it can be accessed without the need for prior actions like requesting permissions or completing registrations.
  • The information should be up to date and reflect the company’s current status.
  • Published information should be thorough and provide all relevant data and context for a clearer understanding.

Regarding the published information, the Haz Foundation has set criteria to ensure that company websites address issues of regulatory compliance. These criteria include the publication of a corporate compliance policy, ethical code, annual report, compliance training initiatives, and risk prevention or reduction campaigns related to their compliance policies, among other elements.

Transparency and compliance in IBEX 35 companies

After evaluating the information provided on their websites, the report has classified IBEX 35 companies into three categories: transparent, semi-transparent, and opaque. In this ranking, Enagás ranks as one of the most transparent companies within the Spanish selective index, securing the second position.

Being a responsible company also entails being transparent with all stakeholders

The report emphasises Enagás’ dedication to transparency through its online communication of corporate governance issues. In today’s globalised and interconnected world, being a responsible company also entails being transparent with all stakeholders.