A corporate sustainability report is an organizational document that is similar in nature to a financial report. However, sustainability reporting helps organizations measure and assign value to economic, environmental, social, and governance performance rather than focusing solely on financial assets. A sustainability report will usually depict the following characteristics of a company:
- Corporate values
- Governance model
- Link between corporate strategy and commitment to a sustainable global economy
Sustainability Software Solutions
Producing such a complex report may seem like a daunting task. However, the use of sustainability software solutions can help companies report this type of information in a hassle-free manner. Software can be used to facilitate the following business processes concerning sustainability:
- Data collection on current and past sustainability practices
- Analytics on performance measures
- Clear communication and organized response between stakeholders
- Monitoring of sustainability metrics on an ongoing basis
Who Should Report and Where to Start
Every company, regardless of size or economic stature, should be creating a corporate sustainability report as a standard business practice. If unsure where to begin your research, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines are a good place to start. Establish an organizational reporting initiatve, analyze the results on a regular basis, and seek solutions that will help maintain profitability while improving environmental impact. As mentioned above, software solutions will also aid in highlighting areas of strengths and weakness concerning sustainability measures.
Benefits of Corporate Sustainability Reporting
There are several inherent benefits to sustainability reporting. The most obvious is improved corporate policies that account for positive environmental and social impacts. Additional benefits include:
- Streamlined processes, reduced costs and improved efficiencies
- Increased understanding of risks and opportunities associated with corporate policies
- Improved reputation and brand loyalty
- Enhanced stakeholder understanding of company values and assets
These reports should be contributed to throughout the year then published in order to communicate progress to a wider audience of stakeholders, investors and employees. Sustainability reports help show that companies can continue to grow and add value while maintaining strong environmental ethics. The GRI is one of the leading organizations in the field of sustainability. Using their reporting guidelines can help establish a corporate sustainability organizational structure that is more environmentally conscious while keeping long-term profit goals in sight.
You might also be interested in learning more about EHS Insight and our Sustainability Management solution.