Friday, January 24, 2014

Will you influence the future of sustainability reporting?

There are some that say that governments will influence the future of sustainability reporting with reporting regulation. There are some that say that consumers will define what they want to hear from companies. There are others that think that NGOs are driving sustainability transparency forward. And academics, producing research on sustainability reporting, think they have the key to making it all work differently. All this is fine and every stakeholder group has the power to make a difference. But there is one additional way in which we can all influence the future of sustainability reporting and that's by giving recognition to the reports that inspired us for different reasons and helping them gain exposure.

That's why, around this time of year, every year, voting in the CRRA online reporting awards has to be on the to-do list of everyone that has an interest in the future of sustainability reporting, which has proven itself to be a process which helps drive sustainability performance and yes, save the planet.

Looking at the line-up for CRRA 14, there are over 50 worthy (some more, some less!) report candidates that are just waiting for you to take a look and vote.

Here are some entirely random quotes from most of the reports in the CRRA 14 line-up which may inspire you. I selected lines that made me smile, or cringe, or nod, or agree, or raise my eyebrows....... but I won't say which is which :)

Note that these quotes are taken out of context, though I hope that this is not misleading in any way. However, perhaps this is why you may be intrigued to open up the report and take a look yourself.

(I didn't check out two reports which did not offer a PDF download. I like PDFs.)  

Ascendas Pte Ltd: "As a progressive organisation, Ascendas continues to be forward-looking and expeditious in adopting best practices."
Bloomberg LP: "Data is the life-blood of policy-making and the capital markets. Even with the most sophisticated assumptions, regulations and financial models formulated on unreliable information are liable to miss the mark and, worse still, compound the problem."
BMW AG: "For us, sustainability means: making decisions weighing up the environmental, economic and social aspects of our actions. But we also examine all decisions on sustainable activities with regard to their profitability. This pays off."
British American Tobacco plc : "If you think nicotine causes most smoking-related diseases then you are not alone. Even some doctors believe this."
China Southern Power Grid Co Ltd: "When most people have been enjoying modern convenience brought by electricity, there was a time when some people in the five provinces and region in South China did not have access to it but relied on kerosene lantern and pine tar for light. Modern civilization was far away from them."
Chocolats Halba: "It is not possible to manufacture chocolate sustainably without procuring sustainable raw materials."
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc: "We have mapped our stakeholders into key groups and continually review this landscape to ensure we understand their views and are able to communicate effectively and respond to their concerns on issues of interest."
Colas Limited: "Road safety has been identified as a key focus for our social responsibility. This issue is closely related to our operations and presents an important opportunity to make a big difference."
Co-operative Group Limited: "With a history as long as ours it’s inevitable that we’ve experienced all manner of challenges, but throughout, we’ve always stuck resolutely to our Values and Principles and today is no different."
Doosan Infracore Co Ltd: "The VC 630 / 5AX from Doosan Infracore is a high-rigidity vertical machining center capable of controlling five axles simultaneously. Functionality, productivity and operator convenience are all outstanding."
Ernst & Young Americas: "While formal learning plays a crucial role in our people’s development, it is but one leg in the EYU “tripod.” Experiences and coaching form the other two legs and are equally important."
Fibria Celulose SA: "Fibria Cellulose's 2012 Sustainability Report is an education in the detail of sustainable forest management practices, and projects a deep-seated commitment to high standards of environmental stewardship and good citizenship." (haha, disclosure, I said that, in the review piece I wrote for Fibria in this report.)
Flughafen München GmbH: "Crises cannot be planned – but reactions to crises can be."
Fromageries Bel SA: "Beyond the purely commercial act of buying something, consumers are looking for products that resonate with their own awareness of societal issues and desire for commitment, and the societal commitment they perceive in brands which they want to continue to trust."
GSK Latvia: "Vaccination (immunization) is the most effective method of preventing widespread diseases – it prevents an estimated annual 2.5 million deaths in children worldwide." (Another disclosure: I helped write this report.)
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB: At H&M, we like to think of sustainability as a word of action, something we do rather than something we simply say."
Hess Corporation: "Tragically, we suffered two separate fatalities in 2012, our first since 2008. These fatalities serve to remind us that our work to keep our people safe can never stop as we continue to strive to eliminate all accidents from our business.
Hewlett-Packard Company: "We are committed to maintaining renewables as a part of our energy mix to make continued emissions reductions."
Hydro Québec: "Hydro-Québec takes steps to prevent or mitigate noise from facilities near sensitive environments, such as residential neighborhoods. To prevent noise pollution, the company installs quieter equipment."
IHS Inc: "Colleagues are passionate and understand that IHS is building a very unique company focused on providing tremendous value to customers, communities and stakeholders."
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc: "Vanilla has global appeal that crosses cultures and demographics, making it one of the world’s most popular flavors."
JSR Micro Inc.: "JSR Micro did not seek external assurance for this first report. However, to the best of our ability, we have confirmed that all information in the report is accurately disclosed and presented."
Koninklijke BAM Groep nv: "The earlier we get involved in a development the greater the opportunity we have to influence the sustainability of the development at a lower cost."
Korea Water Resources Corporation: "Communication with stakeholders is the best way for corporations to search for means to coexist with stakeholders."
Kuwait Petroleum International: "Sustainable growth is embedded in our commitment and we bring it to our workplace every day to make sure this company has a sustainable future."
La Trobe University: "To support the development of staff, the University invested over $2.5 million in staff training and conference participation in 2012, or $792 per full‑time equivalent on average."
LG U Plus Corporation: "The donation fund accumulated through the employee Quit Smoking Program is used for the U+ Study Room of Love, which is a project for building a study environment for the youths of low income families. The Regional Children Center in Sangam-dong is designated as the Study Room of Love and the fund was used to install IT devices, redo the wall paper, and to exchange the boiler."
Maynilad Water Services, Inc: "The Company is very strict to ensure that gender discrimination is not tolerated in any way. Employees’ salary and compensation are based on their performance and designations, but never on their gender."
Microsoft Corporation: "The people who power our innovations drive our success."
MillerCoors LLC: "Drunk driving fatalities are on the decline, and in 2011 were at record-low levels in the U.S."
MOL Group: "2013 could be just as challenging as 2012, taking into account slow economic growth in Europe or the tightening regulatory environment in many countries."
Monsanto Company: "We live in dynamic times."
Natura Cosmeticos SA: "A Natura consumer for 16 years, Geni Alves is a frequent buyer of perfumes from the Humor line. With a birthday party scheduled, she purchased the gift over a week in advance."
Nizhny Novgorod Engineering Company - Atomenergoproek: "We are committed to responsible designing and construction of nuclear and thermal power energy facilities and acknowledge that functioning of Company’s subdivisions and branches, as any other anthropogenic activity, may lead to a negative impact upon the environment." 
Novelis Inc: "Aluminum’s infinite recyclability is the other essential component of its sustainability footprint, and recycling aluminum uses dramatically less energy than manufacturing primary aluminum."
Novo Nordisk A/S: "Most annual reports these days talk about how the state of the global economy and the ensuing austerity measures put pressure on businesses. This report is no exception."
Pacific Hydro Pty Limited: "In relation to energy infrastructure of all types, we believe that the community needs confidence in the regulatory and planning authorities and the information provided by them about wind farms."
PanAust Limited: "We continue to be very impressed by the progress we observe in our Lao workforce."
Port Metro Vancouver: "Canada is a trading nation. From coast to coast to coast, people rely on the goods that move through ports."
Royal Dutch Shell plc: "The world is at the beginning of a transformation in energy use. Global population is rising, living standards are improving for many and more people are moving to cities. Demand for energy could rise by up to 80% by around 2050 as it powers rapid economic development."
SK Hynix Inc: "There is a saying that the future, despite being unpredictable, is the present to those who challenge and create."
SK Telecom Co Ltd: "When people and companies explore new possibilities for a better world, SK Telecom always stands by and works with them to be "happy together."
Smithfield Foods Inc: "As a food company, we believe we have a responsibility to help feed families who are struggling to afford the food they need."
STMicroelectronics NV: "Energy-efficiency and eco-design are now key consumer requirements for products."
The British Land Company plc: "Our strong reputation for community engagement makes us more likely to become the partner of choice for local authorities and others."
The Crown Estate: "We are privileged to own and manage some of the most diverse assets in the UK."
Tieto Corporation: "Based on the employee survey, people feel that their competences are well matched to role expectations. We also rate our leaders higher than ever before."
Toronto-Dominion Bank: "I have long held the view that a bank’s primary purpose is to create wealth in the real economy."
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity): "Where we allocate capital today determines our society's future health."
Wilderness Holdings Limited: "Thirty years ago the founders of Wilderness fell in love with remote and wild places in Africa. They realised that many of these places were not getting the attention they deserved."
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc: "We also accepted smaller broccoli, leeks and swedes in our standard vegetable range and courgettes that were lightly marked by wind and rain."

Got inspired?
Learned something new?

Go VOTE! Influence the future of sustainability reporting NOW! This is your chance! Do something to save the planet! Ok... I am getting carried away... but I do think it's important to give recognition to great I think it would be great if you could include your voice.

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, winning (CRRA'12) Sustainability Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of Understanding G4: the Concise guide to Next Generation Sustainability Reporting  AND  Sustainability Reporting for SMEs: Competitive Advantage Through Transparency AND CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices . Contact me at   or via my business website   (Beyond Business Ltd, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)

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