Home > Sustainability report > HOW TO START MAKING THE SUSTAINABILITY REPORT (part 1)


Once we already firmed that we need to have the sustainability report for providing the stakeholder any necessary information concerning our sustainability performance on economic, environment and social. Then, we need to determine more specific who is our stakeholder who affect and/or are affected by our organization and its activities.

Identify our stakeholder
One of sample of the grouping of the stakeholder is divided by social and non social stakeholder, i.e.

  • Primary Social Stakeholders (e.g. Local communities, Suppliers and business partners, Customers, Investors / members, Employees and managers)
  • Primary Non Social Stakeholders (e.g. The natural environment, Non-human species, Future generations)
  • Secondary Social Stakeholders (e.g. Government and civil society, Social pressure groups, Unions, Media and commentators, Trade Bodies, Competitors, Regulators)
  • Secondary Non Social Stakeholders (e.g. Environmental pressure groups, Animal Welfare pressure groups)

In actual, not all the above types of stakeholder may be applied for our case or nature of organization activities. For example stakeholder of local communities and environmental pressure groups may not be applied for the manufacturing organization who located in the industrial estate. However, for pulp and paper industry which operate wood plantation and pulp and/or paper plant, most likely the entire above stakeholder may be applied.

What is stakeholder expectation?
Once we have identified the most affecting stakeholder by or to our organization then we have to know what their expectation to us is. In doing so, we may determine the method to engage them first. A useful guidance from AA 1000 Framework (issue date 1999, see website http://www.accountability.org.uk) may be used. This framework suggest some method of stakeholder engagement as follow:
a) One-to-one interviews, face-to-face or in a distance by teleconference
b) Group interviews or Focus groups.
c) Workshops and seminars or Public meetings.
d) Questionnaires – face-to-face, by letter, telephone, internet or other techniques.
The appropriate method for each process of stakeholder engagement will depend on the nature and size of the organisation and the scope of the engagement – the stakeholders included, the complexity and nature of the issues covered and the geographic location.

The choice of method will also be affected by the capacity of the organisation – in terms of financial resources, staff resources and management systems – and by the capacity of its stakeholders. A key element of stakeholder engagement therefore lies in the organisation’s definition and building of its own capacities and the capacities of its stakeholders.

Find any guidelines to make SR
To develop the sustainability report, we may create by ourselves with our own method and structure or we may choose the available guidelines for this purpose. Some examples of the guidelines are as follows:

• Global Reporting Initiative – reporting guidelines
• AA1000 Framework
• SustainAbility – UNEP – Sustainability reporting benchmarking
• CSR Europe Programme – reporting framework
• ISEA / ACCA – social reporting awards
• DEFRA Environmental Reporting Guidelines

According to my experience during auditing of Sustainability Reporting Assurance and delivering training on this matter, most recommended guidelines for initiating to develop sustainability report is Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) guidelines (version 2006, see website http://www.globalreporting.org). This GRI has some advantages for the user, such as:

  • Provides a universal structure for non-financial reporting
  • Highest take up (so far)
  • Presented as guidelines rather than a standard
  • Relatively easy to understand and implement
Categories: Sustainability report
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