Wednesday Jan 08, 2014

Trends of Sustainability Reporting Policies Worldwide

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) recently released the third edition of the Carrots & Sticks publication, which analyzes the growing number of national and international reporting policies from around the world. In the seven years of the series, the amount of policy and regulation has markedly increased. This includes a notable increase in the number of mandatory reporting measures. In 2006, 58 percent of policies were mandatory; now, more than two thirds (72 percent) of the 180 policies in the 45 reviewed countries are mandatory. All policies and guidance included in this publication are either governmental or market regulatory requirements and voluntary initiatives for the public disclosure of sustainability information; CSR initiatives requiring or providing guidance for sustainability reporting or other forms of public disclosure; or requirements or recommendations covering a single topic (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions) or sector (e.g., mining), provided the disclosure has to be public.

The analysis shows an increasing emphasis on a combination of complementary voluntary and mandatory approaches to organizational disclosure. The gradual integration of organizational performance data is on the rise, with attempts to combine corporate governance, financial and sustainability reporting. Their research shows the highest number of reporters per country is in the USA, followed by Japan, South Africa, China, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Korea, and a number of other EU Member States.

Going forward, it is likely that more governments will issue sustainability reporting policies. Report readerships will grow, and the discussion of sustainability data – including around its credibility – will continue to increase. This enhanced participation of report users will occur partly due to improvements in the user-friendliness of sustainability reports, utilizing XBRL and other reporting innovations. Reports will increasingly focus on sustainability issues that are material for stakeholders and investors, thereby providing the most accurate and relevant view of organizations’ sustainability performance and impacts.

Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting supports these needs and provides consistency across organizations in how data is collected, retained, controlled, consolidated and used in calculating and reporting emissions inventory. EA&R also enables companies to develop an enterprise-wide data view that includes all five of the key sustainability categories: carbon emissions, energy, water, materials and waste. The report is available for download on the GRI website.


Friday Aug 16, 2013

Environmental Legislation in the United Kingdom

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

As part of my ongoing efforts to discuss upcoming environmental legislation – I’m now going to focus on the latest changes occurring in the United Kingdom. Starting on October 1, 2013 the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 will require all United Kingdom quoted companies to report on their greenhouse gas emissions as part of their annual Directors’ Report. Companies will be required to report on their scope one and two greenhouse gas emissions, including the six primary Kyoto gases and converted to a CO2 equivalent. Initially this requirement will only affect 1,100 incorporated companies listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, a European Economic Area market or whose shares are dealing on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. The new regulations will then be reviewed in 2015 and ministers will decide whether to extend the approach to all large companies starting in 2016.

Companies that are covered by the regulations need to ensure they have a robust data management and reporting framework that covers the GHGs that will need to be reported; and the full scope of their organization based on the emissions they are responsible for. The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has issued guidance on how companies should report their greenhouse gas emissions. The document outlines the benefit of reporting – lower energy consumption and resource costs, better understanding of exposure to the risk of climate change and brand recognition – and recommends the use of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) to effectively manage environmental data. Although there is no prescribed methodology under the regulations, companies are recommended to use robust and accepted methods, such the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting supports these needs and provides consistency across organizations in how data is collected, retained, controlled, consolidated and used in calculating and reporting emissions inventory. EA&R also enables companies to develop an enterprise-wide data view that includes all five of the key sustainability categories: carbon emissions, energy, water, materials and waste.

Wednesday May 01, 2013

The Carbon Disclosure Project Spring Workshop

Guest author Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Director at Oracle, discusses her participation in the recent CDP Spring Workshop at the New York Stock Exchange

On April 5, 2013 the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent non-profit U.K. organization that collects Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data of major corporations, invited corporations and investor signatories to attend its annual spring workshop at the New York Stock Exchange. I was one of Oracle’s three attendees and was able to attend many informational sessions led by the CDP staff, including a review of the 2013 CDP questionnaire and scoring methodology, the technical changes from 2012 and an overview of disclosure best practices. I also attended several thought leadership sessions.

Several participating companies explained how they leverage CDP disclosure to work with their CFOs to identify cost savings, develop innovative sustainability initiatives, respond to other regulatory bodies (DJSI, GRI, UNGC) and respond promptly to investors’ inquiries. Several speakers highlighted how speaking the same language as their CFO is crucial to integrate CDP responses into an effective communication with investors. Every year investors are increasingly interested on companies’ ESG performance and integrate CDP data into investment processes. Asset management companies look at governance strategy and engage companies to understand if they are aligned to their long term interests. They also look at data in the context of financial information and narrative. CDP thus provides a detailed framework to talk about climate change and disclosure on carbon, water and supply chain management. The nature of these issues shed light on how the company is managed in the long term.

Particular focus was given to strategies for measuring, managing and reporting Scope3 emissions, whose weight is increasing in the CDP scoring process. Scope3 analysis requires a strong understanding of the upstream supply chain as well as the definition of a directional roadmap identifying raw materials, operations and products, procurement strategies, production strategies and logistics assessment. 

Finally, the CDP pushes companies to engage suppliers on climate change and water risks through disclosure to the CDP Supply Chain Module. This disclosure enables companies to understand how to score and benchmark suppliers’ responses and educate suppliers on climate change and costs reduction. Category managers can check CDP scorecards and verify the performance of the company. It was helpful for Oracle to participate in this conference as we continue to gather our data to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

Oracle Sponsors UNEP Environmental Forum in Nairobi

Guest author Rich Kroes, Sustainability Product Strategy Director at Oracle, discusses his participation in the recent United Nations Environment Program Forum in Nairobi

Oracle was pleased to sponsor and participate in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum (GC/GMEF) held in Nairobi on February 20-22. The forum brought together environment ministers, permanent secretaries, cabinet officials and other senior opinion formers from over 140 countries to discuss the latest issues on the global environment, particularly in relation to sustainability and climate change. The ministerial consultations during the session also focused on how to drive and support the emerging positions and policy issues following the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on sustainable development held in Brazil last summer.

UNEP understands the value that technological innovation and the development of sustainability solutions brings to bear in terms of addressing the diverse challenges faced by the world’s environment. The organization also understands that the private sector plays a critical role in the development of a broad array of these solutions, hence hosting the Sustainability Innovation Expo at the event to foster the sharing of technological knowledge and discuss future opportunities.

A session on the UNEP-Live program also highlighted the importance of measurement in tracking major environmental developments and events, as well as identifying emerging issues in the global environment. Measurement ultimately forms the basis for and provides the means to deliver lasting and meaningful improvement in the state of the world’s environment – this is a key cornerstone for Oracle's sustainability solutions as well.

Wednesday Jan 23, 2013

Oracle Environmental Accounting & Reporting ISeminar on February 12

Please join us at a free Iseminar on Tuesday February 12 at 10am PT/1pm ET/Noon CT that will cover Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting. In this 45 minute Iseminar you will learn about this easy-to-use solution which will help enable you to:

  • Collect the data pertaining to your company’s environmental impact and embed your greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting into the mainstream of business operations within your Oracle E-Business Suite and/or Oracle’s JD Edwards ERP systems.
  • Automate your environmental reporting process to make it more reliable, efficient, and secure.
  • Achieve a rapid return on your investment using Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting.

You may be asking what is Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting? This is a product that provides a repeatable, consistent, and auditable process to collect and report on your GHG impact. It will help you track GHG and other environmental data against your targets and help you efficiently meet your voluntary and legislated reporting needs. It is pre-built and flexible -- with reporting features, easy deployment, an ability to report on emissions by multiple factors such as source, facility, category, etc.

Register for this Iseminar here and learn how Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting can help you improve your overall operational efficiency and reduce cost.

Friday Dec 14, 2012

Integrated Reporting Is Getting Closer

By John O’Rourke, Vice President, Product Marketing, Oracle

Oracle recently sponsored a webcast on CFO.com titled:  The CFO Playbook on Integrated Reporting: Integrating Sustainability into Financial Disclosures which focused on why top companies in the U.S. and overseas are incorporating sustainability content into their annual reports and other financial disclosures. 

The webcast speakers, James Margolis, partner with Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk and sustainability consulting services (EHSS) and Mike Wallace, Director of the Global Reporting Initiative's Focal Point USA, discussed the benefits of integrating sustainability reporting with traditional financial reporting. They noted how investors, corporate directors, lenders and most recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission, use this information to better understand, benchmark and value companies. They also talked about the November 2012 release of an Integrated Reporting Framework by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).  Read the press release and link to the framework here. 

The shift towards integrated financial and sustainability reporting is gaining momentum with a number of global stock exchanges endorsing this approach in 2012.  Visit these links to listen to the webcast and download the slides. You can also view a demonstration of Oracle's solution for integrated financial and sustainability reporting. If you’re interested in learning more about this and Oracle’s other sustainability reporting solutions, click here.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at john.orourke@oracle.com.

Friday Nov 30, 2012

Oracle Streamlines Tracking of Global Carbon Footprint and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Oracle has automated its global carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions measurement using Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting. By using this solution, Oracle was able to increase organizational efficiency and reduce the need for labor intensive, manual processes in the tracking of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for both voluntary and legislated environmental reporting.

The move to Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting enables Oracle to more effectively meet both internal and governmental reporting needs, while addressing the associated economic mandates for reporting emissions and sustainability efforts. Organizations across the company can now record environmental data such as energy consumed or energy generated at facilities or locations within the enterprise, and can automatically calculate corresponding GHG emissions resulting from the use of emission sources. In addition, Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting includes data integration from multiple applications to ensure proper representation and calculation of emissions across the globe. The result is access to fast, accurate data and reporting to help the company meet its sustainability goals.

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