Leading Companies Drive Business Value Through Sustainability Reporting

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Effective corporate reporting on sustainability issues can help a company to improve brand loyalty and reputation, motivate employees, enable investors to appreciate the company’s real worth, including both tangible and intangible assets, and demonstrate the company’s commitment to the path of global sustainable development.

Companies looking for more impactful ways to report on their sustainability initiatives to consumers, investors, employees, and other stakeholders to drive business value will find practical advice in Ethical Corporation’s annual review of CR reporting and sustainability communications. The review includes case studies from several major firms including Unilever, AkzoNobel, Coca-Cola, General Motors, and HP.

Unilever’s sustainable living brands, which grew 30 percent faster than the rest of the company’s business last year, accounted for about half of Unilever’s growth in 2015. The company has managed to communicate the message successfully to the consumers about the sustainability of its brands, and the impact on the sales has been dramatic.

General Motors has highlighted in its latest sustainability report about the generation of $1 billion in new revenue streams from its recycling and reuse efforts.Corporate reporting has become more of a mandate than an option for companies that wish to remain successful and competitive across industries. Eight-one percent of S&P 500 companies published sustainability reports last year.

To increase the reach of sustainability reporting, Coca-Cola Enterprises’ Megan Mitrevski Dale stresses using social media to communicate CSR performance, according to the report. She says it can be more effective to break down the company’s annual report into smaller, more digestible pieces that can be communicated via social media throughout the year and linked to key events and trends.

According to Steve Wade, Ethical Corporation’s global project director, the key takeaway for businesses from this year’s review can be condensed into three words: “Keep. It. Simple.” It is important to make it easier for stakeholders to interpret and understand the message. This requires development of simple tools and highlighting the key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that the target audiences understand the company’s sustainability strategy.

The report also quotes executives from eRevalue, Onimpact, Hermes Investment Management and Munich Airport, whosuggest that companies should use big data in their sustainability reporting – and not just for reporting purposes, but to anticipate future risks and opportunities.The idea of using big data in sustainability reporting is a key trend that can be followed by companies looking to make a wider impact.

Source: Environmental Leader

Image Credit: Flickr via Oxfam International