April 13, 2024

Jeff Shirk

Transparent Books

The New Transparency: A Guide to Measuring and Reporting Sustainability Efforts

Introduction

The New Transparency is about understanding how your business is doing, and that means creating a reporting framework. Whether you are an entrepreneur or part of a large company, creating a reporting framework will help you get the data necessary to measure your sustainability efforts. In this white paper we’ll take a look at what happens when companies make their environmental and social impacts transparent to their customers and stakeholders as well as how they can create their own reporting framework for measuring these impacts.

Introduction

Transparency is the act of sharing information with others. It’s a concept that has gained a lot of traction in recent years, as more and more organizations are looking to make their sustainability efforts visible to their stakeholders.

Why? Because transparency helps people understand how an organization operates and where it stands on important issues like climate change, human rights violations and labor standards–and what they can do about it if they don’t like what they see. In addition, transparency allows companies to learn from each other’s successes and failures by showing off best practices that may be transferable across industries or even entire supply chains (or vice versa).

But what does all this have to do with sustainability reporting?

The New Transparency

The New Transparency

It’s a fact: transparency is the new black. And in the business world, this means that companies need to be very clear about their sustainability efforts and how they impact the environment.

As such, companies are increasingly being asked to report on their progress in terms of reducing emissions, conserving natural resources and engaging with stakeholders–and they’re doing so through an increasing number of channels such as websites and social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter (which have become great ways for companies to showcase their achievements).

Why Is Sustainability Transparency Important?

Sustainability is important to the future of business. It’s not just about being good for the environment, it’s about being good for your bottom line. By measuring and reporting your sustainability efforts, you can use them as a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining customers, talent, investors and more.

  • Sustainability helps attract new customers by creating brand loyalty–and ultimately higher profits–from existing ones. A study by Nielsen found that 73{b863a6bd8bb7bf417a957882dff2e3099fc2d2367da3e445e0ec93769bd9401c} of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products or services (1). The same study found that two-thirds would switch brands if one was more environmentally friendly than another (2).
  • Employees want to work at companies with a strong sustainability focus because they care about their career growth potential; it makes them feel like their employer cares about them too (3). According to a report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (4), “The best companies will be those who embrace change as an opportunity rather than something negative.”

How to Create a Reporting Framework

Before you begin, it’s important to define your problem. What are you trying to achieve? Are there specific goals that need to be reached and how will you know when they’ve been met?

The first step in creating a reporting framework is setting clear, measurable goals for yourself. This may sound obvious–but it’s not uncommon for organizations (and people) not have any idea where they want their sustainability initiatives to go or what they hope to accomplish by implementing them. You need a goal before deciding on the tools needed to measure progress toward that goal! If there’s one thing I learned during my time working at [company], it was that the best way forward is always through setting clear objectives: “In six months’ time I want [X].” It might sound simple but these types of tangible fitness goals have helped me stay focused on what matters most while still being ambitious enough not only succeed but exceed expectations as well!

Measuring and Reporting Sustainability

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of measuring and reporting sustainability, let’s take a step back. What are the key metrics to measure and report? How do you measure and report sustainability? And why is it important to measure and report sustainability?

Why are these questions so important? Because there are plenty of ways to get things wrong when it comes to measuring your company’s environmental impact–and making sure that your efforts aren’t wasted by inaccurate information will help ensure that everyone benefits from what you’re doing.

To start with: You need clear goals. If your goal is simply “greening” (like many companies’ first steps), then what does that actually mean? It could mean anything from improving recycling programs or reducing water usage, all the way up through building LEED-certified buildings or buying renewable energy credits from wind farms across state lines.* You also need benchmarks against which those goals can be measured; otherwise there’s no way for anyone else involved in this process–from investors who want proof their money was well spent on green initiatives instead just being flushed down toilets every day**–to tell whether they’ve been met successfully enough

Knowing how your company is doing will help you build a better future.

With the rise of sustainable business practices and the growing importance of measuring and reporting on sustainability efforts, it’s easier than ever for companies to understand how they’re doing. This makes sense: knowing how your company is performing will help you build a better future.

Why measure and report?

The first step in creating a reporting framework is determining why you should measure and report on sustainability at all. There are many reasons that come into play here–it could be because your customers expect it, or maybe because investors want more transparency as part of their investment decisions (and they’re willing to pay more if they do). Whatever the reason may be, figuring out why now will help guide other decisions later on in this process.

Conclusion

Sustainability reporting is the new transparency. It’s a way to help companies understand their impact on the world and make better decisions about how they operate.