Don’t look now, but more and more companies – i.e. your competition – are publishing sustainability reports. And it’s not just a public relations ploy. Sustainability reporting offers multiple benefits and can help improve your business’ bottom line. Here are just a few of the ways sustainability reporting can add value:
- By helping improve processes and systems – Sustainability reporting can enable your company to identify and address business risks and opportunities. Pinpointing those risks and dealing with them appropriately can save your company time, money and avoid loss of reputation.
- By helping build trust in your business – It helps ensure transparent communication and engagement with all stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, business partners and credit agencies.
- By demonstrating commitment to sustainable development – It can cast your company as a leader and innovator in its particular market, putting it in a stronger bargaining position when it comes to attracting investment, negotiating contracts, or initiating new activities and entering new markets.
- By reducing compliance costs – When you measure sustainability performance, your business is better able to meet regulatory requirements, avoid costly violations, and collect necessary data in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
How do you develop an effective sustainability report? Here are six best practices identified by consulting giant Deloitte LLP:
1. Adopt internationally recognized key performance indicators (KPI) to measure the performance of your company’s corporate responsibility programs.
2. Create a corporate responsibility advisory panel involving numerous stakeholders, including independent and adversarial stakeholders, to share their views on corporate responsibility practices and reporting.
3. Obtain third-party verification and assurance on relevant non-financial performance information.
4. Leverage your reporting efforts and use the information to assist in informing and molding your corporate responsibility strategies.
5. Reduce the amount of paper used by producing short hard-copy reports that refer readers to more detailed information online.
6. Keep tabs on reporting innovations so you can continually improve communication about your corporate responsibility program and create greater social and business value.
For more information about effective sustainability reporting for your business, click here.