Sustainability Reports Move From Pioneers to Standard Practice

Sustainability reporting is entering a new phase – it’s becoming standard practice. 

It’s no longer a "nice thing to do" for corporate leaders – 95% of the 250 largest corporations in the world now annually report their sustainability performance, up from 80% in 2008, according to a survey by KPMG. 

The majority of the top 100 companies in 26 of the 34 countries KPMG surveyed produce sustainability reports, including those from developing nations.

Sustainability reports commonly include measurements of a company’s environmental and social performance, targets for improvement, and analysis of progress toward those targets.

"Organizational transparency worldwide is improving – the practice of sustainability reporting is growing fast. Anecdotal evidence also shows that the quality of sustainability reporting improves as companies gain experience, including the integration of the practice into the core management and governance of the business. As companies take a leading role in paving the way to a sustainable global economy, sustainability reporting enables them to measure, monitor and improve their performance," says Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

GRI produces a framework that standardizes Sustainability Reports so that companies use apples- to- apples measurements that can more easily be compared with their industry peers. 

GRI works closely with companies and other organizations to increase and improve reporting in developing countries, and will continue to monitor reports through the Sustainability Disclosure Database.

"Sustainability reporting encourages companies to think about their activities and operations in a more structured and strategic way; by measuring their sustainability performance, companies can make improvements to management, thus improving their performance. This ultimately contributes to the competitiveness of companies, and to sustainable development globally, says Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, which provides core support for GRI.

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