A sustainability report is a progress report on the economic, environmental, social and governance performance of an organization. It combines long-term profitability with social justice and environmental interests. Sustainability reports demonstrate the organization’s commitment to sustainability to internal and external stakeholders. Through the reporting process, organizations set goals, measure performance, manage change, communicate positive and negative sustainability impacts, and integrate a sustainability strategy into their core planning.
Sustainability reporting by corporations is a fast growing trend. There is increasing pressure from stakeholders and investors to evaluate, disclose and manage risks and opportunities related to social and environmental concerns – particularly for multinational corporations. Many companies now accept this as part of their corporate responsibility.
In their report, “2012 Corporate/ESG/Sustainability/ Responsibility Reporting – Does It Matter?”, the Governance & Accountability Institute found that there was a drastic increase in sustainability reports from 2010 to 2011. Of the 500 companies indexed by Standard and Poor, 19% issued sustainability reports in 2010. In 2011, that number grew to about 53%. (For full report, see: http://www.ga-institute.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Reports/SP500_-_Final_12-15-12.pdf).
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an independent global organization, developed the sustainability reporting guidelines. The guidelines provide a framework for the credibility, consistency and comparability of sustainability reports.
For examples of corporate sustainability reports, check out these top ten lists of reports:
Elaine Cohen of Beyond Business Ltd has two articles:
1. The Top Ten CSR Reports of 2012
2. Ten Innovative Sustainability Reports
while Leon Kaye of GreenGoPost.com published his‘The Top 10 CSR and Sustainability Reports of 2012’ on the Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit.
Contact Sherlock Ink to discuss your sustainability reporting needs.