Due to the rising investor-, stakeholder-, and regulatory demand of publishing sustainability information, you might start feeling pressured to report such data through standardized reporting. However, due to the existing ocean of various sustainability reporting frameworks, standards, and guidelines, it can be challenging to know where to start, how and why.
Our suggestion is to start with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
GRI is one of the most comprehensible reporting frameworks, and the most used for sustainability reporting. With its many standards covering the three dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social, economic), it is helpful for your organization to communicate its impact and compare both its internal and external progress. Hence, your organization can become more transparent.
By not being limited to any industries, it is a fitting reporting framework to any company, regardless of size or maturity.
In our opinion, GRI is also the easiest to work with. It provides guidance in a detailed approach and has materiality assessment guidelines. Also, they are continuously publishing new sector specific standards, which can further help with evaluating the relevant material topics within a sector.
There is nothing more discouraging than getting lost in the jungle of information needs and musts, just after starting your sustainability reporting journey. These tools are useful for any reporter, whether having in-depth sustainability knowledge or not.
So, ultimately: Is GRI for everyone?
The short answer is: yes. Whether you are a large or smaller business, you can gain benefits from it. What kind? Here is a longer list:
· Possibility to better evaluate and improve your strategies and policies
· Possibility to better identify and reduce risks
· Possibility to better determine goals and targets
· Possibility to compare progress on a yearly basis
· Possibility to show responsibility for your impacts by being transparent and honest
· Possibility for stakeholders to evaluate the organization’s sustainable development
· Possibility to communicate industry-specific insights and in so contribute to research, analysis, and policy making
The proven method doesn’t always equal efficiency
In the digital age we live in, the importance of easy information sharing, and access is inevitable. We wish for immediate access, user-friendly apps and platforms, real-time data, accurate data, relevant data...
Still, many companies share sustainability information through excel sheets, word files and emails, and keep waiting months to publish updated sustainability information - which, let’s face it, is not so updated anymore by that time. The method of sending information back and forth is rather outdated and inefficient. Not to mention the time and resources spent on correcting human error – which can happen of course. We all know it. We all experience it from time to time.
Publishing sustainability information needs accuracy and needs to be up to date for the sake of reliability and comparability. Copy-pasting the wrong information, sending or receiving the wrong document, and becoming overwhelmed by too much information are all affecting stakeholder interrelations.
We believe in making sustainability accessible and easier for everyone
On the BeCause platform, we have integrated all disclosure requirements as questions, supported by easily accessible guidelines, and knowledge support, where manual process is replaced with an automated approach. You only need to collect and fill in the necessary qualitative and quantitative data, coordinate internally through our help center, and communicate your progress through reports, or our widget feature. Our platform is also your tour guide, through which you will find the right path in the labyrinth of uncertainty.
We believe that the way sustainability reporting is developing and becoming more important, it is good to be an early bird, and to facilitate beginnings with a digitized report. Make your stakeholders happy to avoid scattered information in multiple excel sheets, and help your own colleagues see and understand what you have already accomplished in your company, and what is the goal that you are all striving for.