Sustainability and integrated reporting update

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11 Feb, 2013

A summary of recent developments in sustainability and integrated reporting, including news, research reports and other topics.

The following is a selective summary of recent notable items in sustainability and integrated reporting:

  • AccountAbility/UN Global Compact (UNGC) report.  AccountAbility and the UNGC have released Growing into Your Sustainability Commitments: A Roadmap for Impact and Value Creation (link to AccountAbility website), which provides a preview of the outcomes of conducted structured research that aimed to find out how companies are approaching and implementing sustainability commitments.  The report highlights the need to integrate commitments into processes and systems, the dynamic and not static nature of the sustainability process, and the opportunity for better relationships with standard setters
  • UNGC/PRI report.  The UN Global Compact and the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative have released Enhancing Company-Investor Communication: Insights from the ESG Investor Briefing Project. The report is designed to assist companies wishing to enhance communication of the financial relevance of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies and performance
  • WBSDB guide. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched a new guide, entitled Measuring socio-economic impact – A WBCSD guide for business (link to WBCSD website).  The guide provides an overview of the business case for entities measuring their social-economic impact, and profiles a series of tools that entities can use to undertake these measurements
  • European legislative developments. The European Parliament has taken steps toward the implementation of the European Union's corporate social strategy with the adoption of two reports.  The reports, Corporate Social Responsibility: promoting society's interests and a route to sustainable and inclusive recovery and Corporate Social Responsibility:accountable,transparent and responsible business behaviour and sustainable growth (link to European Parliament website) outline the broader importance of corporate social responsibility and notes themes such as the prevalence of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines in current sustainability reporting, the likely move toward integrated reporting following the initiative of International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and the Rio+20 commitment to corporate sustainability reporting.  The documents support "European businesses [applying] the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Global Compact and that they should be harmonised with integrated reporting"
  • Study on impacts of ESG reporting. A study by the Governance & Accountability Institute, which is a partner company of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in the United States, suggests companies that report on their sustainability performance are at an advantage over their competitors.  A report is available on the Institute's website (registration required).

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