One of the most important things in businesses today is the focus on sustainability reporting because it touches on all aspects of operations. From the production line to branding, sustainability reporting helps businesses redefine their operations to make the world a better place. It is more than a collection of statements on a business’s corporate strategy, environmental, and social governance. Rather, it provides a clear picture of how the company generates and sustains value in the present and future. This post highlights the main tips for sustainability reporting.
Start by Setting the Scene
As you focus on ESG sustainability reporting, it is important to appreciate that the process might differ depending on the nature of the organization. The reporting for a manufacturing company in the city will be different from that of a services company located in the countryside. Therefore, you need to start by capturing the overview of the businesses and the market environment in which it operate. This will contextualize your overall reporting and help in creating the strategy for sustainability.
Take the example of a manufacturing business. The overview of the company might include capturing the information on the source of raw materials, water use, energy use, and support. It is important to be as detailed as possible because the information you capture at this early stage will be very helpful when assessing the strategy’s success later.
Develop a Sustainability Strategy
Like other operations for your company, sustainability reporting can only be actualized if there is a clear strategy. We prefer to call it a roadmap. For example, you might want to consider shifting to renewable energy in the next three years, reducing waste at source by 50% and stimulating green supply chains.
So, how do you anticipate to cutting waste production, promote green supply chains and make the world a better place? One strategy might be acquiring new and more efficient equipment, training staff on eco-production, and supporting green initiatives. Make sure to be as detailed as possible, demonstrating the expected internal and external effects. Also, make sure to capture both the tangibles and intangibles.
Pick KPIs for Sustainability Reporting
One thing we must indicate at this point is that you can only achieve what you can measure. Therefore, as you draw the strategy for ESG sustainability reporting, it is prudent to identify key performance indicators to help gauge progress and success. Some of the key performance indicators to consider might include:
- Office waste reduction.
- Emission reduction.
- Main water consumption reduction.
- Reducing the impact of official business travel.
- Raw material sourcing from sustainable suppliers.
- Cutting office waste sent to the landfill.
These are only samples of what you can include; the list can be longer depending on your business and industry.
Present Information in a Transparent Way
The last stage in sustainability reporting is the presentation of the results that you achieved using the adopted strategy. Here, you need to be as accurate and honest as possible. Make sure to report both the negative and benefits of sustainability reporting strategies adopted by your company. For example, did the new and more effective machinery result in a high cost of operation? What efficiency rates did you achieve?
As you can see, sustainability reporting affects all areas of a business, and it is prudent to be as strategic as possible from the beginning to the end. Again, you need to appreciate that the reporting should be progressive, implying that it should not end with the report. For example, if you manage to cut waste by 50% in 2021, that should serve as a baseline for next year’s reporting. To make it easy to plan, strategize, report and make the globe a better place for all, you should also consider adopting sustainability reporting software.