When the curtains of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) came down in 2002, the world has a reason to celebrate – a solution to economic, social, and environmental issues had been found. The summit recommended the use of sustainability reporting as a process of resetting an organization and firing it to success. It is a win-win situation for all – businesses can optimize their operations while promoting prudent use of resources to avoid harm to the environment.
If you are a new entrepreneur, the long list of benefits that come with ESG reporting makes it an irresistible undertaking. In order to execute the process of reporting well, you need to start by understanding it. So, here are answers to common questions about sustainability and sustainability reporting for you. Remember to also factor in the design of your company when preparing your report.
- What is Sustainability Reporting?
How well do you understand the concept of sustainability reporting? To implement ESG sustainability reporting in your company, you need to understand it and appreciate the building principles. Sustainability reporting, according to GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G4), is the process that helps companies set goals and measure performance and change towards a sustainable global economy. It combines long-term profitability with environmental care and social responsibility.
The process of sustainability reporting is guided by key principles, such as materiality, transparency, completeness, and timeliness. In line with these principles, you should not just report the positive effects of the process. Rather, you should also capture the negative impacts that arise from your operations as well as the sustainability reporting process.
- Where Did Sustainability Reporting Originate?
Although the concept of sustainability is an emerging discipline, it can be traced back to about 30 years in 1992 during the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNICED). During this meeting, the member states agreed that one could not talk about protecting the environment without factoring in development. However, it was emphasized more in later summits, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa, which was held ten years later.
In the document “The Future We Want,” on page 47, which was done in line with the Rio Summit’s focus on sustainability, member states called for “sustainability reporting” as a way of integrating sustainability information into their reporting cycles. Therefore, it means that you are not just creating a report for presentation but ingraining its ideals into all levels of your company.
- Should Sustainability be Part of Business Core Strategy?
If you are new to sustainability reporting, the chances are that you already have a strategy, but it might have been formed without reference to sustainability. To enjoy the benefits of sustainability reporting, it is good to make sustainability part of your strategy because it touches all areas of operations. For example, you might want to cut down emissions by changing the equipment. See – you need to rethink the entire production system, from product development to packaging.
Making sustainability part of the core strategy implies that you are able to build on every success for faster growth. After installing new equipment, you can go on to cutting wastes and conservation in that order. Each of these activities will greatly impact the brand, sales, revenue, and success. Simply put – sustainability reporting can become the lever you have been searching to grow rapidly.
As you can see, sustainability reporting is a complex process that has to start with setting goals and crafting the right strategy and end with the report presented to stakeholders. To make the process simpler, consider selecting good sustainability management software, such as Diginex Solutions.