It may not be the case that sustainability programs are standardized (yet), that exact reporting methodologies are enforced across industries (yet), or even that sustainability governance issues are broadly written into law (yet), but scrutiny of company performance along sustainability measures continues to increase.
As sustainability frameworks, by organizations such as the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Account Standards Board, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, CDP, and others, are solidified into the formal ways that companies are evaluated by consumers, investors, regulators, and policymakers, it becomes easier those stakeholders to compare organizations across sectors and evaluate past performance.
It won’t be long before stakeholders take the natural next step: demanding a formal commitment to future performance.
In other words, as the language and performance metrics of sustainability become as familiar as those of the stock market, the demands that stakeholders make will become more specific.
And the impact of not meeting those demands may be as stark as the impact for not meeting other demands – like quarterly earnings or product safety.
Full, authentic integration of sustainability policy into the strategic leadership plan of any organization is today’s new normal.
Right now, every company should be realigning sustainability programs, ensuring sustainability is positioned squarely in the corporate strategic vision. Soon, a formal sustainability structure will be as important as the accounting department.
Is sustainability still a footnote in your organization’s operations? Don’t worry, there’s still time. Contact us about planning a sustainability assessment for your organization to help launch a meaningful corporate reporting and performance program.