D4: Vehicles for Disclosure
A small but growing number of global companies, including Novo Nordisk and Puma, have begun using their Sustainability Reports to make the business case for their environmental investments and efforts. These attempts to both quantify and integrate sustainability investments with business impacts are especially important given the growth of integrated reporting.
Although this trend is growing, without a common structure these reports continue to take many different forms. The International Integrated Reporting Committee (IRRC) has taken on the task of engaging companies, investors, advocacy groups and the accounting community to develop an internationally accepted framework for integrated reporting. In late 2012, the group released a prototype framework for public consultation, and is currently running a pilot project with more than 85 companies, including Ceres companies Jones Lang LaSalle, Prudential, The Coca-Cola Company, Vancity.
The Integrated Reporting framework is meant to provide companies with a way to demonstrate the extent to which integrating thinking is occurring at the company. The information to be disclosed should be strategic, material, reliable, and demonstrate connectivity with core business objectives.
Companies considering integrated reporting as a method to better engage investors should ensure that they maintain ongoing communications with the non-financial community—including consumers, community organizations and employees in a robust and credible manner. Integrated reporting should not merely be considered a communication vehicle, but a strategy for integrating sustainability into traditional business decision-making that translates into tangible, performance improvements.
For more examples on Disclosure, click here.