Sustainability Reporting

New Zealand businesses are increasingly integrating sustainability practices into their business and a good way to communicate your efforts is to produce a sustainability report.

While the most widely adopted framework globally has been the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework (GRI Framework), this doesn’t work for everyone.  The GRI framework is a collection of reporting guidance documents designed to assist companies in preparing sustainability reports and environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures.  The key benefit of using the GRI framework, in addition to standardisation of reports, is guidance on material issues – that is a company consider those environmental and social aspects that are most significant to its key stakeholders and have the most significant impacts on its business.

For Te Rūnanga Group their first report in 2016 report the GRI Framework wasn’t appropriate and they focused on their cultural, social, environmental and economic performance through their values and behaviours.   Mark Solomon explained that “in shaping this report, we held eight regional hui and listened to whānau as they considered the direction of our sustainability journey as an iwi. We also listened to our kaimahi (staff) and our partners in determining what issues this report should focus on”. [1]

Air New Zealand produced its first report in 2015 and they started their process by establishing a Sustainability Advisory Panel which included members outside of the organisation.  Their first report also considered international reporting standards but did not follow any particular standard.  In their 2017 Report they have considered the GRI Principles for Defining Report Content of Stakeholder Inclusiveness, Sustainability Context, Materiality and Completeness.  To view and download their latest report.

According to a study undertaken by EY and Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship top benefits of sustainability reporting go beyond relating firm financial risk and opportunity and can be a differentiator in competitive industries.  It helps to foster investor confidence, trust and employee loyalty.   This study identified the following ways that sustainability reporting provided value:

Sustainability Value - Boston EY

Source: Value of sustainability reporting[2]


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