Sustainability Reporting: Special Tips for Beginners

If you are new in business, whether as a manager or entrepreneur, one of the most important things to know and execute properly is ESG sustainability reporting. Although an emerging discipline, sustainability reporting is being considered as the ultimate method that can help to address challenges facing the planet. For example, most governments are using ESG reporting to ensure companies keep their emissions low to counter the looming threats, from global warming to social injustices. So, how do you implement the reporting as a beginner?

This post explores the discipline of sustainability reporting to highlight the main principles that should guide you. We also provide useful tips that you can follow to make sustainability reporting more successful, allowing you to enjoy associated benefits.

The Core Principles of ESG Sustainability

Companies generate sustainability reports because of a number of reasons. The most important of them is that customers have become more conscious about sustainability and want to be associated only with companies making positive impacts on society. More countries are also adopting policies that are geared towards encouraging sustainable reporting. The framework for ESG reporting was created during the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in South Africa, and it includes the following principles:

• Transparency and accountability.
• Consistency and comparability.
• Balance and neutrality.
• Flexibility.
• Accuracy and completeness.
• Materiality.
• Building on the current reporting framework.
• Linking reporting and action.
• Reliability.

Tips for Sustainability Reporting

Now that you know the main principles to follow, here are some useful tips to consider for sustainability reporting as a beginner.

  • Start by Creating a Good Strategy

For your ESG reporting efforts to work and bear the anticipated results, you need to have a good strategy. So, start by reviewing your company’s operations, including the primary objectives. Then, look at its main processes and identify areas where you can make key adjustments for positive social, economic, and environmental impacts. At this point, make sure to set measurable targets that can be checked after some time.

As you craft the main strategy, always remember to leave some room for improvements along the way. For example, if you find that the emission reduction targets are not being achieved, what methods of improvements can be adopted?

  • Determine the Preferred Reporting Framework and Budget

To help companies achieve sustainability reporting goals, there are a number of frameworks they can adopt. Some of the top options include the general Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI), and International Standards Organization (ISO). Others that are more specific include the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which is designed for climate change, and GRESB for the real estate industry.

As you pick the framework, make sure also to set aside an appropriate budget for the selected activities. For example, if you plan to cut emissions by installing scrubbers, factor in the cost of buying and installation.

  • Work with a Good Sustainability Reporting Software

One fact you need to appreciate about sustainability reporting is that it can be pretty challenging because the information is generated from different areas. You might have data on staff training, support for conservation groups, and product design changes, among others. So, how do you do this correctly? The best solution is using sustainability reporting tool that makes it possible to automate data gathering through integration with different departments. With the right software, you can even allow different parties to add data in real-time as opposed to waiting until the end of the financial year.

If you are new, whether joining the market with a startup or working in a company that wants to adopt sustainability reporting, know that doing it correctly can come with awesome benefits. The tips we have listed here can help your organization to grow and become more successful with less or no negative impacts on the planet.

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