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D3: Scope and Content

CERES ROADMAP EXPECTATION
Companies will regularly disclose significant performance data and targets relating to their global direct operations, subsidiaries, joint ventures, products and supply chain. Disclosure will be balanced, covering challenges as well as positive impacts.
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Check out the Roadmap in Action section for examples of how companies are implementing the Disclosure expectations of the Ceres Roadmap.

The increasing breadth and depth of disclosure means that companies will need to extend the boundaries of their reporting in terms of geography, longer timeframes, and specific facilities and joint ventures. This requires companies to adjust and develop management and data collection systems.

LOOK BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS

Companies should capture both past sustainability performance and their plans for the future. Past performance data should extend back at least three years and ideally five years. Looking forward, companies should disclose emerging issues, using data projections on key environmental issues, such as GHG emissions, and on human rights and community impact trends. They should include short-term goals and, for key issues, long-term goals over a timeframe appropriate to the issue’s pace of development.

On key issues, companies should disclose performance data on both an absolute and a normalized basis in order to demonstrate robust data management systems. Where appropriate, data should be made available at shorter intervals – bi-annually, quarterly or monthly – rather than just annually.

GO BEYOND DIRECT OPERATIONS

Just as sustainability management has expanded to include responsibility for supply chain issues and Extended Producer Responsibility, companies should broaden their reporting scope to include not just the impacts of their direct operations around the globe, but also their material impacts backwards and forwards along the value chain. For example, companies should disclose their Scope 3 GHG emissions, including emissions attributable to the company’s supply chain and to the use of their products.

Broader reporting boundaries extend to key social issues, too. Companies should report on issues related to workers, communities and product safety wherever the company directly, or through its partners, undertakes production or marketing around the globe (see the Supply Chain Measurement and Disclosure expectation for more on supply chain transparency).

DRILL DOWN

Companies should disclose corporate level data and facility-level data as appropriate, and should publicly disclose the names, locations and aggregate performance-related information for all such facilities, including contract facilities. Facility-level information is important to community stakeholders, especially on issues such as water, pollution, emissions and labor issues. Facility-level data is the backbone of supply chain disclosure.

ADDRESS DILEMMAS AND CHALLENGES

Companies should disclose their performance in a way that is balanced, adequately addressing dilemmas as well as successes. Picking issues that are a particular challenge for the company and providing the rationale for the direction that the company has chosen to pursue is critical for balanced reporting.

CAPTURE THE BUSINESS CASE

To demonstrate the importance of environmental-related investments, companies should include a cost-benefit summary for key environmental expenditures. For example, in its sustainability report, Bloomberg produced a financial environmental summary stating that for every $1 invested in environmental management it saved $2 in operating costs, and details how it achieved these results.

HOW ARE COMPANIES PERFORMING?

In The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on The Ceres Roadmap For Sustainability, we evaluated 600 of the largest U.S. companies on their progress towards meeting the expectations laid forth in the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.

For this first report it was not possible to capture all of the data required to fully assess all of The Ceres Roadmap expectations.  For some Ceres Roadmap expectations, companies are not yet disclosing the information needed to assess their progress and in other cases, we did not have access to the type of data needed to adequately assess corporate progress.

We will be looking at additional indicators in the future to capture the meaning of the expectations more completely and will develop new indicators to capture data as it is more readily disclosed by companies.