First things first. Before setting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write outlines or strategies or any text at all, there are a few important steps that will help build the foundation for a qualitycorporate sustainability report (CSR).
Most people won’t see the report’s foundation. But, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t make it any less important. Any builder (or homeowner with a leaky basement) will tell you how critical it is to have a solid foundation. Any shortcuts in laying the groundwork will impact the quality of the end product in the construction of both buildings and sustainability reports.
Here are five key steps to building a solid foundation for a top-notch sustainability report:
Get Familiar with GRI
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework is the standard structure used by companies around the world to report sustainability data. GRI is the de facto standard for sustainabilityreporting. GRI reports can either be self-declared or GRI checked to achieve a grade that reflects the degree of reporting transparency. (Note: The gradesrange from a C to an A+.)
Using the GRI framework makes sense for two reasons. First, it provides a great place to start. Global sustainability experts have already spent a lot of time and energy to establish a system that works, so why start from scratch? Second, a GRI grade gives your report credibility while presenting stakeholders with an instant view of organizational transparency.
Rebecca Treacy-Lenda, a Strategist at Emotive Brand, is an award winning communications professional with more than a decade of experience in corporate communications and public relations. Rebecca specializes in sustainability strategy and communications having managed the industry-leading UPS sustainability report for several years.
Rebecca is part of the team at Emotive Brand, an award-winning brand and design consultancy that transforms businesses by making brands matter more to people.
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KEYWORDS: Marketing, Media & Communications, Emotive Brand, sustainability reporting, csr, Corporate Social Responsibility, csr reporting