The Evolution of Corporate Sustainability Reporting

The Evolution of Corporate Sustainability Reporting

On April 22, we celebrate Earth Day, a worldwide, annual day of action and awareness.  First proposed by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 as a way to increase cognizance of environmental issues facing the world, Earth Day has grown into a global event with over 193 countries participating.

The intensified focus on environmental sustainability over the past several years has paved the way for an increase in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting, however, it is not a new concept.  It was initially developed by institutional investors as a tool to measure non-financial factors such as environmental performance, social responsibility, and corporate governance.

Today, ESG reporting is used by companies and investors alike to better understand potential risks and opportunities in the marketplace.  It has been adopted by many companies as a way to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and responsible corporate behavior. The reports provide valuable insight into how well a company is managing its environmental, social, and governance programs, thus helping investors make informed decisions.

According to Bloomberg Index, ESG assets surpassed $35 trillion in 2020 and, assuming 15% growth, a third of the pace of the past five years, ESG assets could exceed $50 trillion by 2025.  This spectacular growth emphasizes why ESG Reporting has become a critical part of investor relations.

And while ESG reports are not (yet) required for publicly held companies, more and more are including them in their Investor Relations communications as there are benefits including, attract and retain investors, improve operational efficiency, provide risk management, encourage accountability, create a competitive advantage, build transparency, foster customer loyalty, support recruitment, and get ahead of the inevitable regulatory requirements.  It is no wonder that ESG Reporting is continuing to gain traction with all organizations.

While the task of producing an ESG may seem daunting, and it can be, all follow these basic steps:

  • Define your goal and message
  • Gather information and verify data
  • Create content flow
  • Develop a design theme
  • Generate report and execute a distribution strategy

Luckily, there are companies that specialize in the architecture and development of ESG Reports.  Often the process is divided into two parts: The content generation is where data is gathered and frameworks determined, SASB and GRI, etc. and the content for the report is produced.  It is then flowed to an ESG Design team that specializes in using layout, typography, content, data visualization, and imagery to create a best-in-class ESG Report.

Considering creating an ESG Report for your company? Click Here to learn more about how Lorraine Gregory Communications to discuss how our award winning ESG Design can benefit you.