The procedure is termed as sustainability report. This feature is developed and used extensively in order for companies to strike a balance between them, the society and the environment (GRI, 2012).
The people, planet, and profit are the three elements which are considered while studying the elements of sustainability report. Emphasis is given to the stakeholders rather than the shareholders as they are the ones who are mostly directly or indirectly influenced by the activities or the action of any company. The sustainability reporting provides a platform for communication between the company and the stakeholders.
This paper presents a detailed analysis of the use, importance, barriers and the economic benefits of using the sustainability report by a company in the daily practice. This allows the society to understand and judge how well an organization or a company is performing. The need of the hour is to make sustainability report a mandate and common practice to benchmark performance.
Sustainability reporting – application within organizations
Sustainability refers to the ability of maintaining an outcome over time without causing an ecological imbalance or exhausting the resources on which the result would depend. There are various theories and models of sustainability which are studied and considered. Some of them are the economic, ecological, political models etc (Jenkins, 2009).
Sustainability reporting enables a company to communicate openly, positively and effectively with its stakeholders. This is crucial for maintaining and meeting the financial goal or the profitability of the company. The stakeholders, on the basis of the reports, can compare and analyze the performance of the company with others and to check on their own performance. Those organizations, which succeed in tailoring their communication with the stakeholders, to present a detailed analysis can convince them as to the fact that their company is working in tandem with the social, economic and environmental practices for long term growth. The success lies in a clear understanding of the true values of reporting and the issues associated with the making and execution of the sustainability reporting (KPMG, 2008). The management and the senior officers want to get the green label for their company, which is self explanatory by itself, that is it would prove that there is perfect alignment in the company’s sustainability strategy, the environmental impacts and the social implications, as well. Sustainability reporting has now made its place in almost all sectors of business. Three out of Australia’s four largest banks publish annual sustainability reports (KPMG, 2008). Here, the reporting is considered as TBL (triple-bottom-line) business accountability. People, planet, and profit are taken into consideration while evaluating the reporting practices (vivodepot, 2008). Sustainability reporting involves a series of guidelines or a set of rules and regulations to be followed by the companies. As the aim is to deliver in accordance with the social,