Canadian 'Starter's Guide to Sustainability Reporting'

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04 Mar 2014

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) has published a guide designed to be a starting point for new or early-stage sustainability reporters. The focus of the guide is to provide a roadmap on how to get started on sustainability reporting, the reporting choices available, the process and resources involved, as well as the relevant tools and guidance available.

A challenge for many first time and early-stage reporters irrespective of whether they are multi-national corporations or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is finding a starting point so that they can develop a reporting process. Therefore, the guide offers a roadmap of key steps, related objectives and practical advice to ensure that companies can have a well-managed approach and focus on high-priority topics. The roadmap is structured into eight areas:

  • scope and strategy,
  • governance and accountability,
  • stakeholder inclusiveness,
  • high-priority focus areas,
  • key performance indicators, performance and impact,
  • balance and clarity,
  • credibility, and
  • institutionalisation of sustainability reporting.

The benefits of a phased approach are considered, as a way for companies to avoid over-stretching their resources in the short term, while laying out an achievable plan for meeting their reporting aspirations in the mid-term. The guide also considers reporting beyond the development of a printed report and also includes comments on e.g. online communication and social media.

The guide is available on the CPA Canada website. Earlier in 2014, CPA Canada already released A Primer for Environmental and Social Disclosure.

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