What Is Corporate Sustainability Reporting?

Corporate Sustainability Reporting or CSR refers to a regulation and management system employed by companies to keep check of their environmental and social impact on the world. It is a yearly report made by companies to self-regulate their brand reputation through charitable, philanthropic and social activities. Although CSR is usually done by companies as an initiative of their own, many nations and organizations have made it mandatory for large scale companies to have a CSR model. It is also a way to make the stakeholders of the company and the general public aware of their yearly working system.

What are the benefits of CSR?

To have a long-term customer or client, a brand doesn’t need just a good product. It needs to show what it stands for, what values it represents. Here are some benefits to incorporating CSR into your company:

It helps the company to be more conscious of its social, economical and moral responsibility It improves a company’s reputation for its employees and potential recruits CSR limits the risk of scandals and mishaps in the environment. It enhances the perception of the general public, as people prefer to use products and services of a company which is environment conscious.

How to write a CSR report?

Without careful efforts, a CSR report can appear extremely dull and difficult to read. A well written CSR attracts investors, customers as well as potential employees. So here’s how to write an attractive CSR report:

  • The report will be online, so use a directory or table of contents in the beginning for all subjects mentioned in the report
  • Give an overview of your business, its operations and recent dealings
  • An optimistic and warm letter from the CEO that adds a human element to the report
  • Mention your goals for environmental sustainability
  • Mention your progress towards said goals (use measurable numbers and percentages for more clarity)
  • Add real life incidents, narratives or interviews to make the report more readable
  • Mention what your priorities will be for the next term in regards to corporate social responsibility, how the company will tackle major issues
  • Use detailed and easy to understand infographics and charts.
  • If the report is large, make sure to add the sources from which the report is compiled.
  • Add the contact details of every major person involved in the handling of mentioned issues.
  • Have your report audited by a third party for better validation

What are some good examples of CSR?

Writing a CSR report can be daunting and exhausting, especially without inspiration. Here some excellent examples of CSR done flawlessly by corporate companies that we can learn from. (THIS PARANTHESIS IS NOT TO BE INCLUDED IN FINAL BLOG- THE LINKS ARE TO THE RESPECTIVE COMPANIES’ CSR REPORTS)

  • Google: https://sustainability.google/in 2019, Google celebrated 13 years of Carbon neutrality. It is also the world’s largest annual corporate purchaser of renewable energy.

  • Ford Motor Company: https://www.india.ford.com/about-ford/community/csr/#:~:text=Ford%20India%20lays%20particular%20importance,and%20pollution%20of%20water%20bodies the firm took a Sustainable Workforce initiative under which they improved employees’ health, efficiency and productivity. Its global safety standards have reduced workplace accidents by 90%.

  • Bosch: https://www.bosch.in/our-company/our-responsibility/corporate-social-responsibility/during the early Covid-19 outbreak, Bosch India pledged more than 50 crore rupees for pandemic relief efforts. 9 lakh masks were donated to second level Covid-19 warriors.

  • Lego: https://www.lego.com/en-us/sustainability the firm has pledged to go completely carbon neutral by 2022. The toy company has also announced that they will replace from plastic packaging their toys to paper packaging.

  • Ben & Jerry’s: https://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2014/corporate-social-responsibility-history the ice-cream company donates 7.5% of their pretax earnings to social causes since 1985. It has remained one of the few brands that have consistently spoken out and taken action against acts of injustice around the world.

While CSR report can look different for every company, its objective is the same throughout- to be more sustainable, ethical and responsible. To do well not just for the brand, but also the environment. Companies that stick with yearly CSR reports usually tend to see profits in all areas. Socially responsible companies tend to focus on the approach called Triple Bottom Line. Here, three areas are taken into consideration- Profit, People and Planet. ‘Do well by doing good’ is their motto.

So if your company is not legally required to do CSR, it is still wise not to wait. CSR sets a standard for your company among your competitors. Committing to CSR is a step in the right direction, not just for your brand, but for everyone involved.