In recent years, sustainability reporting has become a must for organizations that want to be at the forefront, develop in line with their surroundings, and future-proof their investments. With the pandemic behind us, the sustainability-related demands on companies and organizations continue to increase. Here we will share three important pieces of advice for succeeding with sustainability reporting in 2024.
3 must-haves to succeed with sustainability reporting in 2024
1. Create transparency in the value chain
Transparent communication, both internally and externally, will be an important part of sustainability reporting going forward. During the pandemic, many of the problems that exist in the value chain came to the surface. It became clear that many businesses do not have an overview or control over what is happening with the suppliers.
Reports of a poor working environment, lack of relevant protective equipment, child labor, and pollution of the environment have become increasingly common. Today, more and more consumers and investors demand that companies increase transparency at all levels of the value chain.
We can also expect increased legal requirements for better protection of working conditions, human rights, and the climate in connection with value chains. For companies to be able to live up to this, a better overview and coordination of their operations is required, both when it comes to direct and indirect suppliers.
Until recently, companies have mainly focused on reducing emissions from their operations. But today we know that for many companies it is the indirect emissions that account for most of the climate impact. To localize and reduce even indirect emissions, control of emissions across the entire value chain is required. There is always room for improvement, and it is never too late to redo and do it right.
2. See it as a business investment
Did you know that you can make your business more attractive to investors by properly reporting sustainability? It is becoming increasingly common for investors to look at ESG criteria to analyze companies and assess whether a company is worth investing in.
Today, ESG criteria are important for calculating how a company will stand against future opportunities and risks. New regulations are constantly emerging, such as the EU taxonomy and the SFDR, which should help investors promote sustainable financing.
The goal of all regulations is to directly capitalise towards more sustainable investments and drive the increased demand for transparency around companies' sustainability risks. Upcoming legal requirements will detail sustainability reporting, even more, increasing the possibility of comparison between companies. Hopefully, this will motivate companies to work even more proactively with environmental, social, and company-related issues.
3. Remember that data is essential for succeeding
Relevant data is becoming increasingly important to deliver a credible sustainability report. Like most things in our society, sustainability work needs to be data-driven. Today, some tools help companies collect data from the various corners of the business and compile it clearly.
By including relevant data in the sustainability report, it becomes easier for investors to form a picture of the company's actual sustainability impact. It also helps your business to identify any sustainability risks and what measures are required to prevent them.
A digital tool makes it easy to share data with internal and external stakeholders, which increases both transparency and participation in sustainability work. It also becomes easier to put the data in the proper context, for example by connecting it to the organization's sustainability goals and various business areas and activities.
Today, more and more companies are using dedicated sustainability systems to get help with their sustainability reporting. For example, a system can help you automate the collection and compilation of data, leaving you time for other things. You can read more about Stratsys' tools for sustainability management here.