The vast majority of transnational companies do not report on their sustainability/corporate social responsibility efforts. Sure, some are inactive and really have nothing to talk about – and they should want to “walk the walk” before they “talk the talk.”
But there are a lot of others who are active and moving forward, and still not communicative. How and when will they ever get over their “greenblushing”?
Here’s a suggestion: For public companies, there are already a format and schedule in place just waiting to be tapped for sustainability/CSR reporting. It’s the annual report.
I hope you will read “All Together Now: Why sustainability reporting and the annual report should be combined,” an article from the March/April issue of Corporate Responsibility Magazine. I am pleased to have the opportunity to co-author this article with Don McGrath of Eaton Corporation, which is a pioneer in using the annual report to communicate its sustainability efforts. This article has just been added to our website for you to download.
In a nutshell, there are four big reasons for integrating sustainability/CSR reporting into the annual report:
- Transparency – just like financial results, sustainability is becoming an important measure of corporate performance
- Socially responsibility investing – $3.07 trillion and counting
- Business strategy – sustainability, energy efficiency and serving the energy industry are part of the growth story for many companies
- Efficiency and cost effectiveness – one book, one project is better than two
It works for Eaton and it will work for many other companies that are looking for a way to report on their sustainability/CSR efforts. We look forward to your comments.