This spring, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opened for comment a review of its Regulation S-K filing—inviting comment on both form and substance of disclosures for companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. Among many other matters, the SEC consultation document sought comment on whether disclosure on sustainability and other matters related to social policy should be mandated.
In the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that the efforts of the public and private sectors are inextricably linked. To meet ambitious social and environmental targets like those outlined in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), progress must be tracked and evaluated by all the estates and actors of society.
It is clear in contemporary society that most stakeholders see companies as the actors that have the resources, know-how, and efficiency to achieve the social and environmental improvements necessary to realize the SDGs and goals of the Paris Agreement.
The following is excerpted from Issue 16 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how sustainability reporting can help inform and advance your efforts, joining us for our GRI and CDP courses. As a certified training partner for both GRI and CDP, we’ll help you understand and utilize two of the leading sustainability frameworks to drive both social and environmental progress—and business results.
In 2015, world leaders came together to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate, and the UN unveiled 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—complete with 169 targets—that aim to eradicate poverty and hunger, foster safe and inclusive societies, and halt global warming by 2030. Here, a group of top business and sustainability leaders discuss business practices that will assure progress toward these gamechanging sustainability targets.
Today’s corporate citizenship reports are more engaging and relevant, and are communicating the positive environmental, social, governance, and business value that companies are creating. A corporate citizenship report was once a nice to have; now approximately 93 percent of the Global 250 issue them.
Today, investors use social and environmental performance KPIs as a proxy for assessing the quality of management and—increasingly—to measure risk. Now, the conversation is no longer about whether a company should report, but rather what they should consider when they do. How can companies gain the greatest possible value from their reporting efforts? Where should companies set performance goals? How and what should they measure? What frameworks should they use? How will report readers use the information?
Once the province of a few unusually green or community-oriented companies, sustainability reporting is now a best practice employed by companies worldwide. A full 95 percent of the Global 250 issue sustainability reports, and by doing so gain a competitive edge in every aspect of the triple bottom line.
According to the Value of Sustainability Reporting study—a joint survey conducted by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and EY—sustainability reporting offers a number of benefits. The majority of respondents believe that reporting improves reputation; while nearly 40 percent find it to increase employee loyalty.
First, the good news: Today’s corporate citizenship reports are more engaging, relevant, and are communicating the positive environmental, social, governance, and business value that companies are creating. A corporate citizenship report was once a nice to have; now approximately 93 percent of the Global 250 issue them.
The natural resources we so often take for granted are in fact critically important to the very existence of our ecosystems and our economy.
Take, for example, a family-owned barge company which has ferried goods up and down the Mississippi River for the last 60 years. Water and weather weigh heavily on whether the company opens its doors every day, so the increased frequency of major water events like flooding or droughts must become part of their risk mitigation strategy.
On April 16 in Denver, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship will launch a new course titled "Materiality: What Matters to Corporate Citizenship Strategy and Reporting." The author of this article, Lynnette McIntire, will be the instructor. To register, click here.
Today, most business leaders recognize the importance and value of adopting a formal sustainability platform. According to the Value of sustainability reporting, in addition to the cost savings, effective sustainability practices improve operational efficiencies and natural resource stewardship. However, one of the main challenges is ensuring employees and team leaders incorporate sustainability in their day-to-day decisions in the workplace.