Ceres Seeks Submissions for 2007 Sustainability Report Awards
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Ceres, a US-based coalition of investors and environmental groups, today called for submissions to the sixth annual Ceres-ACCA North American Awards for Sustainability Reporting. The application deadline is Oct. 26 and the winners will be announced in spring 2008.
The purpose of the awards program is to acknowledge and publicize best practice in reporting on sustainability, environmental and social performance by corporations and organizations and to provide leadership to those companies that are publishing or intend to publish sustainability reports.
The awards are not intended to endorse or reward corporate sustainability performance, but rather to acknowledge exemplary disclosure that places performance in the broader context of sustainability challenges, risks and opportunities. The judging criteria address completeness, credibility and quality of communication. The panel of 12 expert judges includes North American leaders representing a broad spectrum of backgrounds in the nonprofit, corporate and investment worlds.
This year's awards will also feature a climate change theme. The panel of judges will analyze how companies are reporting on the risks and opportunities related to climate change and highlight examples of best practice.
"Hundreds of companies are trying to increase accountability to stakeholders by investing serious time and energy into reports disclosing their social and environmental impacts and performance," said Ceres president Mindy S. Lubber. "We think it is important to recognize innovation and leadership in such corporate reporting."
"Sustainability reporting is a key driver of corporate social responsibility behaviors," added Lynn Beauregard, administrative director of ACCA Canada. "It plays a vital role in improving not only communication, but also credibility and trust between organizations and their stakeholders. It also provides a clear framework for all stakeholders to compare companies on their social and environmental performance."
Last year, Ceres and ACCA received reporting award applications from 102 companies. Vancity, a Canadian financial co-operative, and Bristol-Myers Squibb were top award winners. Both ACCA and Ceres expect the number of applicants to increase this year.
Any Canadian, American or Mexican company, institution or organization can submit a report to the awards program. An organization not based in Canada, the United States, or Mexico can submit a report if it is solely focused on a site or subsidiary based in Canada, the United States, or Mexico. Companies may apply on their own behalf or be nominated by others.
ACCA has been promoting greater transparency in corporate reporting of social and environmental impacts since 1991 and is involved in similar reporting awards throughout Europe, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region. Ceres launched and led the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) with the United Nations Environment Program, until it became an independent, international standard-setting organization in June 2002. The number of companies around the world that follow the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines is now nearly 1000.
For further information, please contact: Brooke Barton, Manager of Corporate Accountability at Ceres, at 617-247-0700 x39 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Nigel Hall, Sustainability Awards Organizer at ACCA Canada, at 416-966-2225 or Nigel.Hall@ca.accaglobal.com
Ceres is a national network of investors, environmental organizations, labor unions and other public interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. Formed in 1989, Ceres created the Ceres Principles, a pioneering 10-point code of corporate environmental conduct that led to widespread adoption of environmental principles by corporations worldwide. In 1997, Ceres launched the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which has become the internationally established standard for corporate reporting on the "triple bottom line" of economic, social and environmental performance. GRI is now an independent institution, with more than 1,200 companies using the guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org
ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the world's largest international accountancy body with 296,000 students and 115,000 members in 170 countries. ACCA has promoted transparency in reporting the impact of business activities on sustainable development since 1991. ACCA is involved in reporting awards in more than 20 countries across the world and participates in a number of influential organizations, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In recognition of their UK social and environmental issues program, ACCA has been awarded a Queen's Award for Sustainable Development.