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What is Sustainability Reporting?

Learn more about sustainability reporting.

What is Sustainability Reporting?

  • Accounting traditionally focused on organisations economic/financial performance
  • Measure and report on financial performance (financial accounting and financial reporting)
  • In the case of companies, the aim was primarily to provide information to providers of financial capital (shareholders and creditors)
  • In today’s world, it is recognised that organisations have a broader range of stakeholders
  • This has given rise to social and environmental/sustainability reporting
  • Meet the information needs of a broader range of stakeholders
  • Promote transparency and corporate accountability to stakeholders

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI is an independent international organization that has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997.
  • GRI standards (started off as the GRI Guidelines) provide guidance to organisations on sustainability reporting
  • GRI: “A sustainability report is a report published by a company or organization about the economic, environmental and social impacts caused by its everyday activities. A sustainability report also presents the organization’s values and governance model, and demonstrates the link between its strategy and its commitment to a sustainable global economy.”
  • Other terms include triple bottom line reporting, corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, etc.

Over to You

  1. Review the following GRI standard which provides organisations with detailed guidance on water reporting
  2. Visit the GRI website
    a. Search for a sustainability report
  3. Review KPMG 2020 Survey of Sustainability Reporting
    a. Find out how many companies in your country publish a sustainability report.
    b. Is sustainability reporting mandatory in your country or voluntary?
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