The Journey Begins…
A vital element in delivering value is ensuring your report is relevant. To achieve this, it needs to effectively target and address stakeholders and the impacts they consider to be most important. The most powerful engagement methods facilitate an on-going two-way dialogue between a business and its stakeholders. IMS uses our bespoke StakeholderTALK™ tool to help our clients achieve this.” Roxanne Ratcliff - IMS Consulting
“Since 2010 we have worked closely with IMS to develop our UK and Ireland sustainability strategy and plan, and to promote the business case and strategic importance of this to both internal and external audiences. This has enabled us to benefit from their expert knowledge in this field to accelerate our programme and to move us closer towards achieving our strategic goal.” – Richard Batley, HR Director at Saint Gobain Ltd
A sustainability report acts as a signifier of transparency and accountability, presenting a narrative on overall progress on the key issues. Anchoring your sustainability strategy with an annual report allows your business to highlight its achievements and targets in a coherent and transparent way.
WATCH OUT It can sometimes be tempting to only disclose data that is positive or shows improvement on previous years. It is important to report information transparently, balancing the positive and negative impacts, and explain plans for making improvements.
“Delivering your report online gives you the option to communicate in real time and, when used as part of a long term communication strategy, is an effective way to reach out to a wider audience.” Lauren Rowe - IMS Consulting
Materiality is the process of deciding on and prioritising the issues to report on. By using stakeholder engagement to undertake a materiality analysis, reports become more focused, relevant and aligned with the key impacts for your business.
Collecting data across the year to report against material Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will ensure that your report is accurate, transparent and relevant.
For reporting years ending on or after 30 September 2013, the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 will require all UK quoted companies to report on their greenhouse gas emissions as part of their annual Directors’ Report.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and you can’t set goals if you have no way of knowing if you are achieving them. Analysis of KPIs can effectively highlight opportunities and challenges for improvement, allowing your business to strategically move forward on its sustainability journey.” Graham Sprigg - IMS Consulting
G4 The GRI recently launched its revamped guidelines for sustainability reporting. Amongst a host of technical changes, arguably the most significant change to ‘G4’ is the requirement for greater emphasis on materiality, which is fundamentally reliant on comprehensive stakeholder engagement.
“IMS undertook an online stakeholder survey for us to understand attitudes to CR reporting and materiality on CR issues. We were delighted with the quantity and quality of the response that we received and have used the findings to inform our thinking for the future.” Justin Snoxall - Head of the Business Group at British Land
WATCH OUT Data collection for your annual sustainability report should be a regular process. Hasty data collection and calculation can leave reporting littered with assumptions or errors which can dilute the value of your messages. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) “Communicating how a company is managing climate change is becoming increasingly important and many companies are now submitting to third party sustainability ratings schemes (like CDP) as a way of reporting progress and benchmarking against peers. Communicating its approach to climate change can help distinguish a company from the competition and offers opportunities to gain competitive advantage.” Richard Westaway - IMS Consulting
Need a little help with your map?
ROADMAPPING A sustainability roadmap is a tool that helps companies agree on where they want to be, how they are going to get there and how they will measure (and communicate) progress along the way. IMS Consulting’s roadmapping service provides a bespoke solution for companies who want to be able to embed sustainability through their entire organisation. Get in contact to find out more: www.imsplc.com
We are IMS Consulting, specialists in providing expert advice and guidance to help organisations unlock their sustainability potential. With upcoming changes to legislation and increased pressure from stakeholders, many businesses are now reviewing what makes their sustainability report relevant and valuable. With such a wide range of information out there, our map shows the route to effective sustainability reporting, helping you to make the most of the opportunities and avoid the potential pitfalls. The IMS crew will also be on hand to offer their expert advice and show you how weâ€™ve helped some of our clients along the way.
MEET THE CREW
Clients and partners: Member of:
Dr Richard Westaway
As IMS Consultingâ€™s Managing Director, Graham takes a forward thinking approach to help clients realise their sustainability ambitions and support them in getting there. A specialist in the practice of embedding sustainability in business through strategy, engagement and communications, Graham has worked with industry leaders to create marked organisational change.
Roxanne coordinates and implements online stakeholder dialogue and knowledge dissemination programmes for organisations wanting to undertake two way stakeholder dialogue. This includes online engagement tools and stakeholder hubs.
Richard helps clients with their corporate sustainability strategies and reporting, based on his broad understanding of the sustainability and corporate responsibility agenda. He is also a qualified Associate Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
Lauren specialises in sustainability communications and has worked to deliver effective campaigns for a range of businesses. With an academic background in environmental management, Lauren works to link sustainable strategy with business communications in a way that is individual to each client.
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