The value of sustainability reporting

The value of sustainability reporting

Consequently, this has allowed that, since there is a greater amount of public information on the “non-financial” performance (where issues of social responsibility and sustainability come in) from the private sector, evaluation, qualification or ranking services have also been developed. companies based on various methodologies, to be taken into account in the decisions of investors and various financial institutions, for whom investing in this type of company or doing business with them adds value, as part of their commitment to investment principles and initiatives socially responsible.

But it is not about publishing information just for the sake of publishing it, nor about having compendiums of data and graphs without the slightest analysis, nor about very long documents that no one will read, but about a strategic and information management exercise that allows the company to focus on the measurement and communication of the most relevant or significant issues for it and for its interest groups that it seeks to address.

A tool that can help in this regard is the so-called materiality analysis or study, which allows identifying and prioritizing the sustainability issues that are material to it, that is, those where its operations, products or services generate the greatest impacts, not only from the point of view of the company, but also of its main interest groups.

Thus, for example, for a beverage company, among its material issues would be working around the use and conservation of water and the recycling of its plastic containers, due to the impacts that its products generate on communities and the environment.

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This study could also be carried out from a financial perspective, that is, analyzing the impacts, risks and opportunities that sustainability issues have on the future performance of the business (for example, how does climate change impact the availability of its inputs or what opportunities for business can have by adopting a circular production model); and both approaches can even be combined to cover a double materiality that considers the interdependence that is commonly observed between the performance of social responsibility and the financial performance of any organization.

In this way, the company can focus on better managing a smaller number of issues, considered the most important due to their characteristics and context, avoiding being distracted or dedicating time and resources to many other irrelevant issues or where their actions do not really have an impact. significantly.