Sustainable business is no longer a trend but an essential part of the global organization. Sustainable business practices help companies to enhance their reputation, improve employee engagement and reduce costs. The way that companies measure, report and communicate sustainability has evolved over time and there are now many different standards for measuring corporate sustainability initiatives. In this guide we will focus on integrated reporting as it’s important for organizations to tell their story in a simple way with clear metrics that can be benchmarked against other like-sized organizations in their sector.
Sustainability is a business strategy, an opportunity and an imperative. It’s also a company culture and commitment.
As a corporate sustainability professional, you have the opportunity to help shape that vision for your organization. You can make sure sustainability stays on track by reporting on progress against goals set by your team or senior management; communicate successes with stakeholders outside the company; influence decisions through data analysis; or even run workshops for employees who want to learn more about how they can be more sustainable at home and work.
Measuring and Reporting Sustainability
Integrated reporting is a method of measuring and communicating corporate sustainability that combines all aspects of a company’s performance into one report. It provides an holistic view of a company’s impact on society, people and planet.
Integrated reporting aims to create more effective dialogue between investors, customers and other stakeholders by providing them with information they need to make decisions about their investments or purchases. The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) defines it as “a framework for financial reporting which integrates material information relating to an entity’s environmental, social and governance performance into financial statements”.
Communicating Corporate Sustainability
Communicating corporate sustainability is an important part of measuring and reporting on your company’s efforts. It can help you build credibility, establish a positive brand image and drive business results.
The purpose of communicating corporate sustainability is to create awareness of your organization’s environmental impact as well as its commitment to reducing that impact through sustainable practices. Communicating this message will also help you generate interest in the topic among employees, customers and other stakeholders who may not have been previously aware of it.
- Increased employee engagement;
- Improved customer loyalty;
- Better reputation with key influencers such as investors or regulators
By using integrated reporting, companies can communicate their sustainability efforts.
Integrated reporting is a method of integrating sustainability and financial performance. This means that you can use it to demonstrate the impact of your efforts on the business, show how sustainability is valued by investors and communicate leadership in sustainability.
It’s important to note that while integrated reporting is gaining momentum as an approach to measuring corporate responsibility, it isn’t yet widely adopted by companies–or even industry groups such as CDP (formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project). So if you want people outside your organization or industry group to take notice of your efforts, there are other ways besides integrated reporting that will help get them interested in what you’re doing:
As you can see, there are many ways to measure and report on corporate sustainability. The key is to find one that works for your company and then stick with it. Once you have decided on an approach, make sure that all departments are involved in the process from the beginning so they understand their role in making sustainability happen at every level of your organization. Finally, don’t forget about communicating these efforts to stakeholders who care about them!