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Value of Sustainability Reporting - Executive Summary

The Center for Corporate Citizenship and EY produced the Value of Sustainability Reporting as a joint effort, and conducted a comprehensive survey that covered various aspects of an organization’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting. The survey was conducted in late February and early March of 2013, and included the cost and benefits of reporting, as well as making connections to financial performance. Respondents’ companies did not have to report in order to participate in the survey.

Sustainability reporting has emerged as a common practice of 21st-century business. ESG company data scroll down thousands of trading terminals. A full 95% of the Global 250 issue sustainability reports. Of the 579 respondents in this survey, a majority of their organizations (68%) issue a sustainability report. A focus on sustainability helps organizations manage their social and environmental impacts and improve operating efficiency and natural resource stewardship, and it remains a vital component of shareholder, employee, and stakeholder relations.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Transparency with stakeholders was a key motivation for organizations to disclose ESG information, and this is especially the case for public companies.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents indicate that their organizations employ the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework in the preparation of their reports, which is also the most widely used framework globally.
  • Respondents from organizations that issue a sustainability report most often identified data-related issues as among their challenges in the reporting process.
  • Improved reputation and increased employee loyalty are two of the ways that reporting provides major value to organizations.


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