Not so long ago, in order to proof that company’s strategy works, it was enough to specify on growth of financial indicators. Financial figures are still important, but they become more and more unstable while physical and the financial assets, relating to it, represent constantly decreasing share of companies’ marketable value. In present market conditions, both company management, and its external stakeholders – such as investors, clients and employees – require more complete information which reflects quality and sustainability of organization activity.
So, according to one of latest researches of KPMG company – The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2015, about 3/4 (73 %) N100 companies report now on corporate responsibility, showing small growth of this tendency in comparison with 2013 (71 %). The current percent of the reporting among G250 companies is 92 %, fluctuating during the last years between 90 and 95, basically because of the change in G250 list. Popularisation of the reporting in the field of a sustainable development is a sign of movement in direction of more sustainable future. Nowadays, companies should concentrate on what it is necessary to report on and how to do this in a better way. For this reason, I want to give you some advices related to successful writing of non – financial report.
It should be noticed, that today, the issue of non – financial report publication is extremely relevant for the Eastern part of Europe, in which according to the research, the reporting indicators are not so high, reducing thereby the average reporting level across Europe.
- Stop publish “dry” reports on 100 pages
Think about what exactly your stakeholders want to see. The information should be given in the simple and accessible form. It is necessary to admit, that people do not read the huge volumes of information. They don’t read long text versions of documents. And if you want your report to be read, try to cause in the reader the feeling of an involvement.
Non – financial reporting frequently contains a considerable quantity of the highly specialized aspects complicating understanding of the information by simple stakeholders. Besides avaricious figures and the dry data, the successful non – financial report makes acquaintance with the people behind the company. The reporting in this field continues to grow, forcing us to become the best storytellers. The Domtar company, for example, marks in their report the work of program EarthChoice Ambassadors – the employees promoting provision of sustainability among consumers, colleagues and community as a whole, on voluntary basis.
- Set up the realistic goals
You can’t run a marathon until you learn to walk. The companies should establish realistic and attainable goals. The report is the public document and if you continue to set up false targets, it will end for you badly. The goals are a correct combination of ambitions and approachability.
Learn what a good report is. It might be difficult to understand how «the excellent report» looks like in practice – the collection, consisting of more than 200 real best practices, created by the international net of companies PricewaterhouseCoopers can help you with this. Examples can be found in breakdown by industries, regions, themes or companies.
- Be honest in terms of what you are doing wrong
In case of accident during production, or similar emergency, the company can be forced to report about sustainability of their actions. While some companies want to hide these incidents, the disclosure of this information, actually can raise the credibility of the report. For the person reading the report, it is important that the organisations reported both negative and positive results of their activity. Never escape from a situation in which you have appeared. Eventually, this information will be made public, but the report on sustainable development gives a chance to the companies to transform the nuisance into the opportunity.
4.Treat the report as a process rather than an end in itself
The collected data should be used actually to help business in making reasonable decisions. If you received new information, you have an opportunity to make much more considered decisions.
3 services which simplify the reporting in sustainable development sphere
Scope 5 – has been developed in order to help companies to trace their decrease in costs and performance in sustainability sphere, in more efficient and transparent way. This service allows the company to manage easily the data connected with sustainability.
- Involve the top management
Many companies still consider non – financial reports as publications which can be developed by small groups of employees in a background mode. However it can be useful for employees to prepare the report, with support and engagement of board of director’s members and stakeholders of the company. Their advices and remarks about key issues of a sustainable development can make the whole reporting process much more ordered. Cooperation with internal stakeholders is the best method of determination of what it is necessary to report.