Corporate Sustainability Reporting

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Sustainability reporting is an activity that allows corporations and other organizations to put into the public domain documentation of their environmental, governance and socioeconomic sustainability performance. This practice is quickly emerging as a requisite for participation in twenty first century trade.

While sustainability was once the province of a handful of progressive companies, corporate sustainability tracking and reporting is now considered to be a key competitive advantage that is utilized by companies around the world. In the following sections we explore some of the top frameworks for corporate sustainability reporting.


    CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project)

    The CDP framework is considered by many to be the premiere framework for sustainability scoring and reporting. CDP focuses primarily on greenhouse gas emissions, but has also added water and forestry-related impacts. CDP has the world’s largest repository for corporate data relating to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and the organizations participating in CDP have close to $100 trillion in combined assets. CDP provides both reporting and scoring frameworks, and issues separate scores for companies for their Disclosure and Performance categories. CDP is very inclusive, and invites state and federal agencies, corporations, municipalities and NGOs to participate in their reporting system.

    Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)

    The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) provides a reporting and scoring framework for real estate owners, investors and developers. The GRESB focuses on three core sustainability dimensions—governance, environmental and social—and includes asset-level disclosures.

    Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

    The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) provides reporting guidance for publicly traded companies in the United States. SASB’s backers include the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg. SASB does not have a scoring framework at this time, but its standardized reporting methodology is integrated into a company’s required Form 10-K filing process.

    Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

    The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the standard reporting framework for the United Nations Global Compact, and was one of the first reporting methodologies in the world. The framework places equal emphasis on the governance, environmental and social sustainability dimensions. Like SASB, GRI does not include a scoring system.

    Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)

    The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) provides a reporting and scoring framework for the 2,500 largest companies on the planet. While it is not as inclusive as the Carbon Disclosure Project, its industry credibility ranks it on par with the CDP framework.


About the Author:

Heather Sandefur is a sustainability professional and one of the founding principals of Paradigm Sustainability Solutions. Visit our website to learn more about how you can partner with Paradigm to improve your organization’s sustainability performance.