The Brutal Truth about Sustainability Reporting

Jennifer Woofter, President of SSC, recently wrote another article for CSRwire Talkback.  CSRwire Talkback is where thought leaders and socially conscious readers meet to discuss Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues. Talkback focuses on two main areas: CSR (business ethics, shareholder activism, corporate governance, and public policy) and Sustainability (green living, human rights, the environment, and social enterprise). Jennifer's article, posted on March 5th, discusses the brutal truth about sustainability reporting.

Here's what Jennifer had to say:

Last month, Strategic Sustainability Consulting (SSC) released its sixth annual Sustainability Report. That means we have published one report for every year that we've been in business. And once again, as cofounder and President, I was the author.

Committing to write an annual sustainability report is a little bit like spring-cleaning. You try to keep up with it throughout the year, but it's the once-a-year deep clean that really scours all the corners.

Much like spring-cleaning, few organizations eagerly anticipate the sustainability reporting process, and for good reason.

It's a bit of a nightmare.

Analyzing the data -- even with a great data management tool -- is a headache. Waiting for the stragglers to get their information back always takes longer than planned. I'm never happy with the first or second (or sometimes third) versions of the opening Letter from the President. Yet, I do it, and proudly stand by my company's commitment to devote the time and resources to an annual accounting of our sustainability performance.

If your organization is dreading the approach of your sustainability-reporting season -- or wondering if committing to your first sustainability report is even worth it -- let me offer you a view from the trenches.

The article dives into several perspectives, including:

  • Sustainability Reporting: The Good News
  • The Bad
  • And The Ugly: GRI's 90+ Sustainability Performance Indicators
  • Adding the Context to Sustainability Reporting
  • The Opportunity

To read the full article, click here.