Sustainability Report: Definition, Components, Benefits and for example
Sustainability Report or Sustainability Report is a periodic (usually annual) report published by the company to share the actions and results of their corporate social responsibility.
This report synthesizes and publishes organizational information decided to communicate about their commitment and actions in the social and environmental fields.
Thus, organizations allow stakeholders (ie, all parties interested in their activities) to realize how they integrate the principles of sustainable development into their daily operations.
Want to know Sustainability reports in-depth? Read on this article until it’s finished for further discussion.
What is Sustainability Report?
Sustainability Report allows organizations to consider their impact on various sustainability issues. This allows them to be more transparent about the risks and opportunities they face.
Sustainability reporting is the main platform to communicate the performance and impact of sustainability. The sustainability report in its basic form is a report on environmental and social performance organizations.
To make this report useful for managers, executives, analysts, shareholders, and stakeholders is made in an integrated standard that allows reports to be assessed quickly, judged fairly, and compared to simple are important assets.
Because companies around the world have implemented Sustainability Reports, the most adopted framework is the framework of reporting the global sustainability reporting initiative (GRI). This can be considered a synonym with other terms for non-financial reporting; Reporting Triple Bottom Line and Reporting Company Social Responsibility (CSR).
Building and maintaining trust in business and the government is a fundamental thing to achieve an economy and a sustainable world.
Every day, decisions made by businesses and governments have a direct impact on their stakeholders, such as financial institutions, labor organizations, civil society, and citizens, and the level of trust they have with them.
This decision is rarely based on financial information. They are based on risk assessment and opportunities using information about various problems that are immediately and upcoming.
The value of the Sustainability Report process is to ensure the organization considers its impact on this sustainability problem and allows them to transparent about the risks and opportunities they face.
Stakeholders also play an important role in identifying these risks and opportunities for organizations, especially non-financially. This increased transparency leads to better decision-making, which helps build and maintain trust in business and government.
What components are there in the Sustainability Report?
There is no one-size approach to all in designing this report. While some organizations (medium-large) choose to write standard-reports combined with certification, others choose to make freestyle sustainability reports. Whatever it is, which is often included in the sustainability report is:
- CEO statements that briefly introduce a vision and driving behind the Sustainability Report;
- Presentation of organizational governance structures and business models;
- Context of sustainability, namely the type of SWOT analysis that explains what is happening at the market level and industry;
- Inspired by SWOT analysis, impact assessment can be made to identify the main negative impacts of organization and business risk (were indicators to measure progress are also identified);
- Identification of the main stakeholders of the organization and the most worrying problems they;
- Materiality analysis where the main worries of the organization (4) and stakeholders (5) are identified as priorities;
- Performance Review from time to time where progress over time is shared – through the main indicators and metrics
- Some interesting stories and images about how sustainability strategies make employees more motivated to work, investors are more willing to invest or the NGO collaborate in strategic projects;
Benefits of Sustainability Report
As discussed above, CSR and sustainability reports can be used to achieve internal and/or external goals.
The benefits of this report for internal parties
Internally, sustainability reports are important because it allows companies to estimate the impact of their operations on the environment, society, and the economy.
Through detailed and meaningful data (which should be collected for sustainability reports, the company has the opportunity to improve its operations and reduce operational costs.
They are not only better prepared to optimize and reduce energy consumption; As a result of reviewing the product innovation strategy for waste cycles or circular economic opportunities can be found.
At the same time, this data collection requires joint efforts from various departments. As a result of data made, employees often become more aware that companies focus on CSR and sustainability, which makes them proud – increase employee retention and reduce turnover (and costs) and ultimately increase company branding.
So in essence the benefits of sustainability reports for internal parties are:
- Increasing understanding of risks and opportunities
- Emphasize the relationship between financial and non-financial performance
- Affect long-term management strategies and policies, and business plans
- Facilitate the process, reduce costs, and improve efficiency
- Benchmarks and sustainability performance assessments concerning law, norms, codes, performance standards, and voluntary initiatives
- Avoid being involved in environmental, social, and governance published failures
- Comparing performance internally, and between organizations and sectors
The benefits of this report for external parties
In terms of external benefits, the Sustainability Report can help companies engage better with interested parties. By telling their stakeholders about short-term, medium, and long-term project decisions, companies can better understand which ones might have a positive financial output.
For example, Sustainability Report helps stakeholders to realize whether companies contribute positively to minimize the negative impact of environmental hazards or only focus on increasing profits for managers and investors.
In this way, consumers can decide whether they want to buy from brands that for example protect orangutans by using sustainable palm oil or which produces local clothing with little environmental damage and pay fair wages.
Investors can anticipate if the company becomes more formidable in facing the consequences of climate change and deciding whether to invest in it or not.
Journalists can share the best news from leading companies on topics such as microplastic pollution or sea activation. NGOs can put pressure and expose irresponsible practices.
So in essence the benefits of sustainability reports for external parties are:
- Reduce environmental, social, and negative governance impacts
- Improve brand reputation and loyalty
- Allow external stakeholders to understand the actual value of the organization, as well as tangible and intangible assets
- Show how organizations affect and are influenced by, expectations of sustainable development
That is a deep discussion of the Sustainability Report that you can know. If you are a business owner who has gone public, Sustainability Report is something you should pay attention to and maybe you should make it every year to allow investors to know the sustainability of your business.
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