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 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.

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