WHAT IS CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING AND WHY DO COMPANIES DO IT?
by G.Errico with Silvana Rivella MONACO. While there is no internationally agreed on definition of corporate sustainability reporting, it is generally understood as being the practice of measuring and disclosing sustainability information alongside, or integrated with, companies’ existing reporting practices. Sustainability information can be understood as any information having to do with how companies use and affect financial, natural and human resources, and how their corporate governance is conducted. To moving forward, we report the Commitment to corporate sustainability reporting in Rio+20 outcome document.
The Paragraph 47 of the Rio+20 outcome document titled “The Future We Want” highlights the important role of corporate sustainability reporting as a key element to improving the private sector’s contribution to sustainable development by creating a standard of accountability and transparency. Calling on companies to consider integrating sustainability information into their reporting cycle, paragraph 47 encourages enhanced action on corporate sustainability reporting and builds on previous UN summit commitments for corporate environmental and social responsibility and accountability. Corporate sustainability reporting should deliver information in such a way that it provides decision-making value to investors, customers, employees and other relevant groups who have a stake in the company or who are in some way affected by the company’s actions. This type of reporting should increase the transparency and accountability of companies, and is considered an important way for companies to demonstrate their performance and long-term economic value, to assume corporate responsibility and to contribute to sustainable development. In both industrialized and developing economies thousands of companies are reporting their sustainability performance as companies and their investors, customers, and employees have discovered the value of transparency for business, markets, and communities. Despite the fact that most of the largest companies in the world engage in this type of reporting, there are a multitude of other companies that have significant sustainability impacts that do not. UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) seeks to assist in activities that both scale up the quantity of companies reporting globally, and improve the quality and usefulness of the information being disclosed. UNEP has worked for many years with governments, non-governmental organisations, industry associations and companies to promote the practice of corporate sustainability reporting and the implementation of voluntary commitments by the private sector toward enhancing sustainable development.
UNEP’s efforts to promote corporate sustainability reporting include: Facilitating initiatives and processes that further develop corporate sustainability reporting frameworks and policy-making such as those involving governments, UN partner organisations, the private sector and the financial community; Monitoring and advising on reporting trends by publishing overviews on the sustainability reporting landscape; and Providing technical support, including the development of tools and methodologies to help companies of all sizes, especially in developing countries, measure and report their respective impacts on the environment. In this project, the Principality of Monaco is in the forefront since a long time. From 20th to 22nd February 2008, the 10th Special Session of the Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was held in the Principality of Monaco, at the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) headquarters, permanently established in Monaco.
(Read Montecarlotimes.eu article on IHO dated November 3rd, 2016)
During the event, the Prince’s Government was keen to implement and support a series of measures and operations of ecological significance, both locally and worldwide.
For more information, contact: Isabelle Valentiny, Head of Communications, UNEP Regional Office for Europe on Tel. +41 79 251 82 36 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Jean Rodriguez, Chief, Information Unit, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on Tel. +41 22 917 27 27 or email@example.com