Creating top-notch corporate sustainability reports is never easy for managers because the process is lengthy and always involves multiple parameters. This complexity has resulted in the generation of poor reports that stakeholders cannot rely on. Recently, concerns have emerged about greenwashing and some stakeholders have indicated they are unable to make the right decisions using them.
Another issue with ESG sustainability reporting is that following all the recommended principles is tough. How do I ensure the information is correct? What about continuity and verifiability? The best answer to these questions is to use the best corporate sustainability software. This post digs deeper into corporate sustainability and finally lists useful tips that you can use to pick the ideal program.
Before setting off to look for the best software, it is paramount to start by understanding the reporting process. Note that although the process is targeted at creating a report for stakeholders, it needs to be internalized well to make a bigger impact. So, make sustainability part of the organization as opposed to just a reporting goal. Now, let’s look at the process:
1) A comprehensive review of the company to determine key opportunities and risks:
This is the first and probably the most important. You are required to do a comprehensive assessment of your organization to identify opportunities that come with adopting sustainability. For example, you might note that the company is releasing a lot of emissions, which can accelerate global warming and could easily damage your brand. By installing new machinery, you will not only reduce the emissions, but the production process will also be more efficient. Make the review as comprehensive as possible, covering all the areas of your organization. Also, ensure to involve stakeholders at this point.
2) Materiality assessment
Although there are so many areas that you can cover in your sustainability efforts, it is important to focus on the ones with the greatest impact on sustainability. To determine the areas of focus/ reporting topics, you need to do a materiality assessment. For example, a company that deals with petroleum products might want to venture into researching sustainable energy sources or emission scrubbers for use in vehicles.
3) Strategy formulation
After identifying the preferred reporting topics, you need to develop a clear objective and then formulate a strategy for achieving it.
4) Data gathering, analysis, and changes
Although the data you gather from the adopted strategy will be crucial when creating the sustainability report, the information from the start of the process should also be included. This will help your stakeholders to establish where the efforts started.
5) Prepare your report
Finally, prepare your report. The ultimate report will be greatly informed by the reporting framework you selected. For example, did you select TCFD or GRI frameworks for your sustainability report?
The four steps we have listed above are never easy for most organizations because they involve multiple departments, persons, and at times, touch on subjects that are tough to quantify. For example, how do you quantify staff training? You need the right corporate sustainability reporting software and we have some useful tips to help you select the best:
● Excellent software security: This is crucial to ensure that the data pulled out from your management system will not be accessible by non-authorized persons. Check for things such as regular updates by the developer, access rights limitations, and encryption.
● Good customer support: This is an important attribute for any program you acquire from a third-party provider. With good support, it implies that you can easily get the required assistance or answers when stuck. So, check for things such as direct phone line, live chats, and dedicated support where necessary:
● Easy to use: The corporate sustainability reporting software you select should be pretty easy to use for your staff. If it is complex, the developer should be ready to help your team get started with it. This can be done online or directly in your premises.
● Allows for automation: The main reason for selecting corporate sustainability reporting software is to simplify the reporting process. Therefore, ensure that the app comes with automation features. For example, the program should be compatible with your management system, where it can easily pull out important data for report preparation. Again, the report should allow the persons in charge to add and manipulate data progressively during the reporting phase.
Good corporate sustainability reporting software is a must-have tool if you want your company to become successful. It not only sets the stage for compliance with installed laws, but it could become the pillar you need for faster growth and success. To get the sustainability reporting program that ticks right on all the attributes we have listed above, visit Diginex.com.
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