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How to prepare sustainability reports in your company? In 4 steps

If you want your stakeholders to know your business’ contribution to economic, social, and environmental development, you must have a sustainability report. For this, check some of our tips for successful elaboration here.

Nowadays, society is going through multiple transformations that have led organizations to have a more relevant role in sustainable development at a worldwide level.


The value at that level, in both internal and external benefits, has led to an increase in report elaboration as a tool for management. In fact,
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) records about 63,793 reports, según publica en su página web.

A report is a management and communication tool that   makes your company’s economical, social, and governance performance transparent, and enables a continuous improvement process towards a sustainable business.

Thus, if you want to create a sustainability document today, check the 4 steps you must follow here:

1. Prepare

If your organization has specific sustainability goals that can be measured and have time limits, and you have already started implementing actions to meet them, it is time to plan and prepare the report elaboration process.

For this, it is fundamental to know the universal reporting standards and/or the GRI, SASB, Dow Jones, or ODS indicators and establish which ones your organization will address. Consider that, according to a study published by PwC, about 60% of company reports in Latin America use the GRI guidelines.

It is also important to be coordinated with the organization’s directors so that, from their experience and business strategies, they indicate the matters that absolutely must be addressed in the document.

2. Connect

At this stage, you must connect with and involve the stakeholders, that is, the main internal and external stakeholders to consider their thoughts as a reference for the report’s elaboration.

In this sense, and as indicated by a publication from PwC consulting firm , companies must think about the transversality of their impacts, values, and relationships with their stakeholders. Ideally, ask the stakeholders what is fundamental to them and make them a part of it, generating value, trust, and a closer relationship.

Additionally, what the organization expects to achieve with the report, what content to publish, how to gather the information, what budget to allocate to it, and other key aspects that will allow to clearly see the scope and commitment of the teams in this instance must be identified.

3. Define

The main goal of this phase is to define what matters, meaning materiality, and where it matters, meaning the Scope of the Sustainability Report. This implies defining aspects whose achievements are fundamental for your company, responding to the needs for information of your stakeholders, and manage the impact of your ESGs. The previous statement is directly related to your company’s core strategy and where materiality must be the center of your report’s elaboration.

It is also worth noting that, when making the report, you must keep in mind the time the organization will have to gather the information, create the document, and publish it.

You will have to establish instances to hold meetings related to the document’s creation, gather information, solve doubts, etc. Keep in mind that you can use   sustainability management software to speed up all this stage, since it is a tool that helps you organize your indicators in specific times, visualizing progress and goal fulfillment. Having the technology that allows you to work remotely in a collaborative manner can make a difference.

4. Elaborate

This may be one of the most extensive instances since it implies ensuring that the report has all the relevant information of and for the business. It is no minor point, considering that according to the Study of Sustainability Trends 2019, by Deloitte,  59% of the executives indicated their annual reports generated value for the company’s strategy

If you have a monitoring system, you can go over the internal systems, gather updated information, and follow the sustainable goals through indicators. In case you do not have a system, it may take longer because of the detailed review the different areas will have to carry out on the goals to fulfill.

Once the report is ready, you must also check the accuracy of the information contained within, thus ensuring that when publishing it to the groups of interest they really know the integrated work being conducted by the organization to achieve an economically, social, and environmentally sustainable development..

Be part of a sustainable development

Sustainability is everyone’s job thus; both the civil society and the companies are responsible for ensuring a healthy environment for future organizations and a fair social and economic development for everyone.

If your company is already implementing actions to achieve its sustainability goals, now it must perform collaborative work and ensure by every means to present a report that mirrors the company’s performance and effort.

Download this guide to achieve an effective sustainability strategy!

Learn more about how to  create new value for your business with sustainability reports.

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