In real life, it’s not that simple. Social responsibility implies accountability towards Society for its actions and decisions. This simple fact makes it essential to somehow communicate stories that matter, outside and inside. Do not necessarily write a report, the important thing is the message and choosing the right channel to bring it to its concerned stakeholders.
Writing or publishing is good for many reasons: to formalize a policy and its results, to reconnect to the media and the investors, to retain your consumers, to convince your voters, to seduce your future customers …
Finding a good balance, choosing words, talking about themes that matter, without shooting oneself in the foot? Risks exist and represent obstacles against true transparency about its practices and decisions, on a voluntary basis.
CAP masters reporting standards and is involved in initiatives such as GRI – Global Reporting Initiative – and IIRC – Integrated Reporting, to guide its clients in their reporting efforts. We even participate to their continuous improvement through ad hoc international groups.
If you need to remember one thing: before defining your indicator list, make sure of the materiality of your communication. It must have a strong fit with the challenges of your business and their impact on your stakeholders. Nothing more, nothing less. People are no fools.
Take advantage of their critical thinking!
Spring 2013: it moves in the world of reporting!
It is an intense and important period for the non-financial reporting: simultaneously and conniving, three major players review their position and publish a new version of their model of reporting …
- GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) released in late May the new version of its guidelines – the G4. This, meant to replace version 3.1 in 2014, increases emphasis on the concept of material impact in the reporting process and provides new indicators specific to the value chain. Less pages for more scope?
- IIRC (International Integrated Reporting Council) has published on line the « consultation draft » of the future framework for integrated reporting. Comments are due by 15 July. Developed in collaboration with the GRI and the sphere of the financial audit, it is the first initiative towards a single reporting framework, combining financial and non-financial data.
More info: http://www.theiirc.org/consultationdraft2013/.
- The European Commission has finally taken a formal position: mid-April, the Commission adopted a draft directive aimed at improving the transparency of companies with more than 500 people in social and environmental issues. According to the Commission, this will contribute to sustainable economic development and create jobs.
CAP welcomes these initiatives and follows them very closely. We will continue to inform you – and train you – on these tools!