Who Really Cares About Your Sustainability Report? And Why?

Until recently, sustainability reports were only for radically green or community-oriented organizations. Today it is a best practice for companies of all sizes. Why? Because there is growing demand from all corners.

Investors: Connecting Profitability with Corporate Responsibility

More and more investors—not just socially responsible investors (SRIs) but mainstream investors—recognize the direct link between corporate sustainability performance and financial performance. In 2015, researchers for investment management firm Arabesque Partners and Oxford University analyzed over 200 sustainability studies and reports. They found that 90% showed sound sustainability standards lowered capital costs within the company. In 80%, good sustainability practices positively influence stock price.

Customers: Building Trust

Customers demand an inside look into company business decisions and leadership practices. Being transparent about your product safety measures, marketing policies and data privacy are just a few ways to turn them into brand advocates. Getting feedback from your customers is also a great way to make key operational improvements that will support your overall sustainability strategy.

Your People: Engaging Current and Future Employees

More than half of millennials say they would take a pay cut to work at a company that matches their values. 90% say they want to use their skills for good. And according to a survey commissioned by the Global Reporting Initiative, a potential employer’s sustainability report is read by about 40% of job hunters. Communicating your sustainability efforts demonstrates your commitment to corporate responsibility.

Communities Where You Operate: Building Your Reputation

Engaging with stakeholders, NGOs, governments and local communities helps your company enhance its reputation and build goodwill. Reporting goes beyond highlighting successes, it also brings to light goals and ongoing progress.

Your Supply Chain: Managing Risk

You should be aware of any risks in your supply chain. Reporting allows you to both showcase your own commitments and examine your existing business relationships. More and more companies require this information of everyone inside their supply and value chains, to ensure that all of their partners are equally committed to being responsible corporate citizens.

The Take-Away

People do care about your company’s commitment to sustainability and your report is a great way to demonstrate that commitment. And, as a bonus, the process of reporting itself can lead to business improvements and innovation, helping the company in ways that are not immediately obvious.

 

Struggling to effectively communicate your story? Ideas On Purpose can help.

 

 

 

 

 

See examples of our Sustainability Reporting here.

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Read more:

6 Steps for Promoting Your Online Annual or Responsibility Report

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Trends in Corporate Reporting

IOP publishes a white paper each year on Trends in Corporate Reporting—Annual Reports and Sustainability Reports.