People Planet Profit come together to give full picture of business
Sustainability reporting covers a wide variety of reports that aim to show the societal, environmental and financial impact a business has. It includes the well known triple bottom line reporting together with stand alone environmental impact reports and social impact reporting.
Triple bottom line reporting is most commonly used by governments and businesses to report outcomes; however like any corporate social responsibility activity, triple bottom line reporting needs to be adopted as part of a values based system for greater sustainability in business operations. Stand alone sustainability reporting, using on the planet and people measures can be implemented by businesses that do have not a requirement to publicly disclose their financial results.
The GRI Standards are the most commonly used sustainability reporting standard.
There are a number of recognised frameworks for sustainability reporting, these include:
- GRI Standards
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
- UN Global Compact
- ISO2600 Guidance on Social Responsibility
- IIRC International Framework.
People Planet Profit – Measurements to be Disclosed in a Sustainability Report
Sustainability reports are a mechanism for companies to report initiatives and outcomes in relation to economic, environmental and societal impacts of business operations.
In relation to people or social impacts, sustainability reports should consider measurements such as labour policies, diversity, participation in fair trade practices and human rights related practices in both the reporting company and its supply chain.
Planet measurements relate to environmental impact of business and can include measurements such as greenhouse gas emissions, participation in voluntary carbon offsetting, water usage and initiatives to decrease water consumption and projects which support natural biodiversity.
Financial disclosures may be part of a triple bottom line report or may be contained within a standard Annual Report.
The Benefits of SustainabilityReporting
Businesses who report sustainability outcomes have the opportunity to achieve a competitive advantage through:
- increased trust levels from consumers;
- increased credibility,
- potential to reduce cost of supplies through detailed analysis;
- potential to be viewed as a superior investment choice, and
- increased employee satisfaction and attraction of high calibre employees.
Sustainability reporting requires that businesses assess and address the social and environmental impacts of their operations and provides an opportunity for business to engage with stakeholders for the benefit of both parties.