sustainability reporting

Four Practical Methods of Sustainability Reporting

Myriad companies across the world are reporting on their environmental and social performance. But how does it work? In this blog post, we summarize the four major approaches to sustainability reporting.

Sustainability reporting is the practice of disclosing information about the environmental and social performance of a company.

Today, myriad companies across the world are reporting on their environmental and social performance. But, it gets even better: companies are deriving substantial benefits from analyzing and improving their environmental performance. In fact, sustainability reporting can act to catalyst the evolution of your corporate strategy.

But here’s the caveat: Sustainability reporting is stuck in a world of clumsy spreadsheets and expensive consultants. As a result, decision makers struggle to find optimal solutions without breaking the bank. Moreover, there is a risk that uninformed and ambiguous corporate claims erode the goodwill of consumers.

Stepping up to the challenge, sustainability managers and ambitious executives are on the lookout for alternatives. But where shall they start? In this blog post, we summarize the four major approaches to sustainability reporting.

1. Do it Yourself (Beginner Level)

How does it work?

This approach usually takes the form of communication collaterals rather than adhering to an acknowledged sustainability reporting framework. Most businesses have complete discretion over the information they include. In contrast to financial reporting, there’s no referee (yet) ensuring compliance.

In other words, you can essentially start collecting your data and communicate your performance today. However, this is easier said than done: reporting inaccurate or faulty information can massively harm your firm’s reputation.

Who is it for?

Managers who prioritize immediate action over accuracy. But, beware of communication pitfalls that can weaken stakeholder confidence.

2. Do it Yourself (Expert Level)

How does it work?

This method adheres to acknowledged sustainability reporting frameworks and can mitigate the risk of consumer backlash. Before collecting internal data, select the sustainability reporting framework(s) you want to abide by. The most prominent standard-setting bodies include the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), SASB Standards, and the Ellenc MacArthur Foundation’s Global Commitment.

Once clear on the scope of reporting, compile the internal and external sources of information needed to complete the assessment. What follows is an extensive process of completing the reporting forms and eventually communicating the results to stakeholders.

Who is it for?

Individuals with an extensive background in sustainability reporting. This is not for everyone.

3. Specialized Consultancies

How does it work?

Outsourcing the hard work to specialized consultancies is always an option. Once contracted, a team of topic experts will ask you for specific information and do the calculations for you. Then, based on your geographic location, industry segment, and preferences, they will recommend the most appropriate reporting methodologies. Following the initial analyses, and depending on your agreement, consultancies help you communicate and engage with your stakeholders.

Who is it for?

Perfectionists who are willing to spend a premium on accuracy. If you have a considerable budget on hand, investing in specialist advice can be beneficial.

4. Intelligent Software Solutions

How does it work?

This approach combines consulting services and technology tools to facilitate sustainability reporting. Automatically import and host your company’s data on a digital platform. Here, you can access a personalized dashboard and study critical insights into your sustainability performance. Next, automated workflows help you create a tailored environmental action strategy, prioritizing actionable and science-based initiatives. Finally, you’ll receive the tools to report your impact in the sustainability reporting frameworks of your choice.

Who is it for?

Practitioners who seek accessible and efficient sustainability reporting. If you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a specialized consultancy, this is the way to go.

The Time is Now

After all, we will only advance sustainability if we combine better measurements and reporting with more thoughtful mindsets and policies.

Ampliphi exists to help you master this challenge. We help you integrate reporting into a systematic framework that moves the needle. Are you interested in learning more about plastic action, want to optimize process efficiency, or seek bespoke consulting? We help you take environmental action today.