I am taking as an example two of the companies included in the Fortune 500 ranking of America's largest corporations. The companies I have chosen compete in the industry of Forest and Paper Products, as these companies have much to do with regard to one kind of sustainability, the environmental one. According to "FAO's State of the World's Forests 2007 report" over the 15 years from 1990 to 2005, the world lost 3 percent of its total forest area, an average decrease of some 0.2 percent per year2. Companies that work in the Paper Industry must be aware of their role and responsibility in the depletion of planet's natural resources. The actions they take regarding to this issue are reflected in their Annual Sustainability Reports.
As the Global Reporting Initiative defines it, sustainability reporting is a process for publicly disclosing an organization's economic, environmental, and social performance3. Although these reports are a voluntary choice, many companies are starting to include them in their annual reports as a complement of their financial information and as a way of communicating with their stakeholders in different terms than just numbers.
The first company we are going to consider is International Paper, which is in the place 114 in the Fortune 500 ranking and it is known as the world's largest paper company. Its headquarters are located in Memphis and they have been producing paper products since 1898. They manufacture a large variety of goods, from paper to pulp and packaging for a wide range of industries.
On their website (http://www.internationalpaper.com) we can see their "Sustainability Update for the years 2004 - 2006"4. In this report we can find detailed information about their commitment to sustainability, which includes initiatives like selling large parcels of land to forest management organizations for their conservation (so these forests provide them sustainable certified wood), growing planted forests, maximizing the use of wood, protecting wildlife and endangered species in their lands, making a sustainable use of water, increasing the use of renewable energies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions,