||The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (October 2013)|
A sustainability report is an organizational report that gives information about economic, environmental, social and governance performance.1
Sustainability reporting 2 is not just report generation of collected data it is a method to internalize and improve an organization’s commitment to sustainable development in a way that can be demonstrated to both internal and external stakeholders.
Organizations must ensure a robust system for sustainability management and reporting with regard to:
Corporate sustainability reporting has a long history going back to environmental reporting. The first environmental reports were published in the late 1980s by companies in the chemical industry which had serious image problems. The other group of early reporters was a group of committed small and medium-sized businesses with very advanced environmental management systems.
Non-financial reporting, such as sustainability and CSR reporting, is a fairly recent trend which has expanded over the last twenty years. Many companies now produce an annual sustainability report and there are a wide array of ratings and standards around. There are a variety of reasons that companies choose to produce these reports, but at their core they are intended to be "vessels of transparency and accountability". Often they also intended to improve internal processes, engage stakeholders and persuade investors.3
Organizations can improve their sustainability performance by measuring, monitoring and reporting on it, helping them have a positive impact on society, the economy, and a sustainable future. The key drivers for the quality of sustainability reports are the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI),4 (ACCA) award schemes or rankings. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines enable all organizations worldwide to assess their sustainability performance and disclose the results in a similar way to financial reporting.5 The largest database of corporate sustainability reports can be found on the website of the United Nations Global Compact initiative.
- Global Reporting Initiative
- Sustainability accounting
- Sustainability metrics and indices
- Carbon accounting
- Sustainability reporting
- Herzig, C.; Schaltegger, S.: Corporate Sustainability Reporting. An Overview, in: Schaltegger, S.; Bennett, M. & Burritt, R. (Eds.) (2006): Sustainability Accounting and Reporting. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006, 301-324
- GRI Reports List - Global Reporting Initiative Reports List (1999 - current). GRI's mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice by providing guidance and support to organizations.
- The Global CR Reporting Summit - The annual gathering place for sustainability reporting leaders
- JournalOfAccountancy has an article on corporate sustainability reporting
- 360report Glossary Definitions of terms concerning sustainability reporting
- The International Corporate Sustainability Reporting Site is an international site with actual news on Corporate Sustainability / CSR and environmental reporting
- CorporateRegister.com is the world's largest online directory of corporate non-financial reports. Including over 20,000 CSR, sustainability, environmental and social reports
- Non-Financial Reporting and CSR Resource Centre is focused on the topic of environmental / sustainability / social reporting and provides fully descriptive links which are in its international section listed in 30 categories.