The Best Sustainability Reporting Tips from Around the Internet

Since it's the season for publishing sustainability reports, we thought this 2012 blog post would come in handy again. Here are some tips, mistakes, and misconceptions about sustainability reporting from a wide variety of resources.. 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.