Sustainability Reporting: A few tricks can save you from a lot of heartache

It seems like over the last few months just about everyone has put together a list about sustainability reporting. Common sustainability reporting mistakes, best sustainability reporting practices, misconceptions about the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines — the list goes on and on. We’ve compiled the best of those lists right here for easy reference. Enjoy!

From Greenbiz, Are Companies Missing Out on a Sustainability Goldmine? (tips for mining that “gold”)

  1. Keep your company’s mission and strategy at the top of mind.
  2. Find points of intersection: Which factors might impact your financials significantly in the short term or long term?
  3. Consider the ripple effect throughout your company’s supply chain.
  4. Ponder which international standards or agreements might hold sway.
  5. Pay attention to what outside expert communities are telling you.
  6. Ask this question: Is there a social impact?

From BSR, Top Five Reporting Mistakes (an unofficial list)

  1. Starting too late
  2. Following an ad hoc signoff process
  3. Using the tactical over the strategic
  4. Failing to connect the quantitative indicators and qualitative narrative
  5. Focusing on internal audiences at the expense of external readers

From Sustainable Business Forum, 7 Material Issues for the GRI to Consider

  1. The impact of sustainability reporting – how many companies report?
  2. The outcome of sustainability reporting – does it make a difference?
  3. The quality of sustainability reporting
  4. Use of the Application Levels
  5. The role of assurance
  6. The GRI relationships with financial services stakeholders
  7. The GRI’s management of its operations in a social and environmentally responsible manner

From AccountAbility, Top Five Misconceptions About GRI Reporting

  1. A GRI “A” level means leadership.
    A GRI “plus” (+) signifies a rigorous assurance process
  2. Reporting on as many indicators as possible is the main goal of GRI reporting
  3. GRI presents a full framework for sustainability communications
  4. GRI is the best tool for measuring impact

From Sustainable Business Forum, Selling a CSR Report: How to Craft the Perfect Pitch

  1. Pitch it as a Starting Point
  2. Pitch it as a Learning Exercise
  3. Pitch it as an Engagement Tool
  4. Pitch it as a Competitive Edge
  5. Pitch it is a Celebratory Exercise

And don’t forget that Strategic Sustainability Consulting offers a wealth of information on topics just like this through our website resources.  Feel free to browse by topic or contact us if you have a specific project in mind that you would like to discuss further!

Originally posted on Strategic Sustainability Consulting
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Jennifer Woofter is the founder and president of Strategic Sustainability Consulting, a boutique firm specializing in helping rapidly growing mid-size businesses integrate sustainability into their business model. She tweets at @jenniferwoofter.