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.


Monday Oct 28, 2013

The Grenelle II Act In France: A Milestone Towards Integrated Reporting

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

In July of 2010, France took a significant step towards mandating integrated sustainability and financial reporting for all large companies with a new law called Grenelle II. Article 225 of Grenelle II requires that many listed companies on the French stock exchanges incorporate information on the social and environmental consequences of their activities into their annual reports, as well as their societal commitments for sustainable development. The decree that implements Article 225 of Grenelle II was passed in April 2012.

Grenelle II is the strongest governmental mandate yet in support of sustainability reporting. The law defines the phase-in process, with large listed companies expected to comply in their 2012 reports and smaller companies expected to comply with their 2014 annual reports. This extra-financial information will have to be embedded in the annual management report, approved by the Board of Directors, verified by a third-party body and given to the annual general meeting. The subjects that must be reported on are grouped into Environmental, Social, and Governance categories.

Oracle solutions can help organizations integrate financial and sustainability reporting and provide a more accurate and auditable approach to collecting, consolidating, and reporting such environmental, social, and economic metrics. Through Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting and Oracle Hyperion Financial Management Sustainability Starter Kit organizations can collect environmental, social and governance data and collect and consolidate corporate sustainability reporting data from multiple systems and business units.

For more information about these solutions please contact elena.avesani@oracle.com.

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 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.

Saturday Jan 05, 2013

Sustainability Reporting Doubled in 2012

According to the recent Governance & Accountability Institute’s 2012 Corporate ESG/ Sustainability/Responsibility Report, the percentage of S&P 500 companies that reported on their sustainability strategies, initiatives, programs and performance has more than doubled, growing from 19 percent in 2011 to 53 percent in 2012 (reporting among Fortune 500 companies grew from 20 percent in 2011 to 57 percent in 2012). With more than 50 percent of this important group of companies reporting, those that do not report will feel increasing pressure to do so in the future. Click here for more information.

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.

Tuesday Sep 25, 2012

South Korea Upcoming Cap and Trade Legislation

In my previous blogs I talked about climate change legislation trends in California, Australia and the European Union. In the next series of blogs, I am going to highlight how carbon trading and sustainability reporting legislation is evolving in other Asia Pacific countries, including South Korea, China, Japan, India and Taiwan - starting with South Korea.

South Korea passed legislation to begin a national cap-and-trade program in May 2012. Korea is the 8th biggest source of GHG emissions in the world and has a national target of cutting them 30% by 2020. South Korea's program will cover about 60% of emissions and will affect big emitters across the economy, including utilities, major manufacturers and even large universities. Emissions trading is scheduled to begin in Korea in 2015, the same year as in Australia and China.

Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting supports the needs of South Korea and helps ensure consistency across organizations in how data is collected, retained, controlled, consolidated and used in calculating and reporting emissions inventory. Learn more about the upcoming cap and trade legislation in South Korea and how to use Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting to meet those requirements here.

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

Wednesday Aug 15, 2012

Customer News: Geodan Reduces Response Times by 25% and CO2 Emissions by 50%

We recently completed the nomination period for our 2012 Eco-Enterprise Innovation awards. We’ll be announcing the winners at Oracle OpenWorld on Wednesday October 3 in a special sustainability executive session. More news to come about that, but I wanted to give you an update on one of our winners from last year, Geodan. They are a leading geo-information and communications technology (ICT) consultancy firm that specializes in supplying location data via innovative technologies. Geodan developed a vehicle incident management system for the Dutch motorways that handles highway incidents and measures how fast a rescuer can arrive on site. They developed this system based on Oracle Database 11g to enable the collection, analysis, and reporting on vast quantities of real-time geodata and other data relating to traffic incidents and resolution. Geodan was able to minimize traffic delays thanks to faster incident management, minimizing durations of traffic jams and helping to reduce CO2 emissions by 50%. They received Oracle’s Eco-Enterprise Innovation Award in 2011 on the basis that the system they developed delivers a real contribution to reducing CO2 emissions resulting from traffic jams in the Netherlands. Read here for more details about Geodan’s success.

Wednesday Jun 13, 2012

United Kingdom Climate Change Legislation

As part of our blog series on legislative trends worldwide, today I’m going to highlight the UK's leading efforts towards a low-carbon economy in the context of the European Union’s (EU’s) wider objective of transitioning to a resource efficient and climate resilient economy as well as its political commitment to reducing carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2050.  You can see more information about this here.   

Current policies have put the UK on track to cut emissions by over a third, on 1990 levels, by 2020. The Climate Change Act 2008 is the core legislative body that establishes the UK’s long-term framework to tackle climate change. The Act aims to encourage the transition to a low-carbon economy in the UK through unilateral legally binding emissions reduction targets. This means a reduction of at least 34 percent in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and at least 80 percent by 2050. Introducing these carbon budgets will ensure meeting the targets for 2050 and beyond.  One of the initiatives established by the Climate Change Act is the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.  This is a mandatory scheme aimed at improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions in large public and private sector organizations. These organizations are responsible for approximately 10% of the UK’s emissions.

Learn more about this and how Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting can help provide accurate and complete tracking and calculation of emissions data.

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

Tuesday May 15, 2012

Compliance with European Cap and Trade and Carbon Reporting Legislation

In my previous blogs I talked about climate change legislation trends in California and Australia. In upcoming weeks I am going to highlight carbon trading and sustainability reporting requirements in the European Union (EU), focusing initially on the overall EU Emissions Trading System and then on each country’s specific legislation.

 

The EU has been exploring measures to combat climate change for more than a decade and has established a variety of initiatives that have impacted  manufacturers and processors. The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), launched in 2005, is a significant mechanism implemented to control and reduce the emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). As with all Cap and Trade systems, the idea is to engage the market place, with its financial incentives and penalties, to reduce climate-changing carbon emissions rather than through top-down orders from regulators. The ETS established a market for large industrial facilities to trade the right to emit CO2, with the total number of allowances being allocated gradually reduced since inception.

You can obtain full details on how the program works and how you can use Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting to meet these requirements here

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

Tuesday May 08, 2012

Environmental Reporting Session at Collaborate 2012

I had the opportunity to attend Collaborate 2012 in Las Vegas last weekend. I hadn’t been in a few years and I don’t remember the level of energy and interest in Oracle solutions at the event ever being this high. It also struck me that more attendees are becoming familiar and engaged on the topic of environmental sustainability. This is a critical development in my mind because for organizations to be truly successful in measuring and managing their environmental impacts they really need to make sure their IT leadership is engaged.

I had the pleasure of presenting a session entitled ‘Introducing Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Environmental Accounting & Reporting’ with Angela Miller, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at North County Transit District (NCTD) in San Diego. For environmental sustainability initiatives and programs to be effective they really need to be embedded in organizations – and to be an extension of their IT deployments – rather than being isolated silo activities. This embedded approach is exactly what the Oracle Environmental Accounting & Reporting module provides. It’s an add-on module available for both Oracle E-Business Suite and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.

In Angela Miller’s position as both a CTO and CSO, she is in a great position to appreciate both the importance of sustainability initiatives as well as the critical role that IT can play to replace the myriad of manual, inefficient processes that were in place before NCTD purchased Oracle Environmental Accounting & Reporting. Hear for yourself the valuable perspective that Angela brings on the topic in an upcoming video that was recorded while she was in Las Vegas.

By Rich Kroes, Product Strategy Director, Oracle

Wednesday Mar 14, 2012

Compliance with California Cap and Trade and Carbon Reporting Legislation

In one of my previous posts, I talked about greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements in Australia and how companies can address those requirements using Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting. Since then I've received several questions about how companies can address GHG reporting requirements imposed by the upcoming cap-and-trade program in California. Here I'll provide an overview of those new regulations as well as where you can get more detailed information.

In January 2012 California plans to launch a cap-and-trade program that will cover electricity generation as well as industrial sources that emit 25,000 tons or more each year in carbon emissions. The new cap-and-trade regulation, which will cover some 360 businesses representing 600 facilities, is divided into two phases. The first phase begins in 2013 and will include all major industrial sources and electricity utilities. The second phase starts in 2015 and will include distributors of transportation fuels, natural gas and other fuels. The goal is to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and to 80 percent below the 1990 levels by the year 2050.

You can obtain full details on how the program works and how you can use Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting here.

By Elena Avesani, Principal Product Strategy Manager, Oracle

Friday Feb 24, 2012

Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting and Australia’s Carbon Tax Management

We've been getting a lot of interest around the world in our relatively new product Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting (EA&R). This product enables organizations to track their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental data against reduction targets. EA&R also facilitates environmental reporting for both voluntary and legislated emissions reporting schemes. I plan to provide several postings that will discuss EA&R in regards to various regions and their unique GHG reporting requirements – starting with Australia.

In 2007, The Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (The Department) issued the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (The NGER Act). The Act makes registration, and emissions reporting mandatory for corporations whose energy production, energy use or greenhouse gas emissions meet specific thresholds. In November 2011, Australia then passed a landmark law to impose a price on carbon emissions, provided for by the Clean Energy Act 2011. Companies involved will need to obtain a government-issued carbon unit for every ton of  liable carbon emissions they produce. The initial price will be fixed, but will then be replaced by a flexible price on July 1, 2015, with the price of units being set by the market, with the number of available units capped, and a 'price ceiling' and a 'price floor'. Liabilities can also be managed by certain carbon offsets, although limits apply. You can obtain full details and see how you can use Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting to meet these requirements here

By Elena Avesani

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