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Laying the foundation for good communication with responsible CSR/ sustainability reporting

Laying the foundation for good communication with responsible CSR/ sustainability reporting

Responsible CSR/ Sustainability reporting implemented through a structured, methodical approach (identify-measure-manage-change) is of paramount importance for good communication. It provides a solid foundation for companies to succeed in the long-term by building and maintaining favourable reputations and relationships with key stakeholders (i.e. stakeholders that can hold them back or stop them from reaching their objectives). Your responsibly prepared CSR/ sustainability report becomes a valuable source of information and a reference for your company to demonstrate that it is already taking action through a methodical and structured approach – and that it does not leave anything to chance. 

Good communication is evermore important in the digital age we live in. Information is instantly and freely accessible throughout the globe and this applies to companies, too: people are able to instantly access information about your company’s policies, the impact of its activity, its reputation, with or without your consent. Whether you are aware of it or not, conversations could be taking place about your company and people take action and make choices based on what information they have available.

Two key questions:

a) Can your company instantly demonstrate by pointing to actions it is taking that it has already identified its most important impacts?
b) Can your company show what it is specifically doing to minimise its most important negative impacts and increase its positive impacts?

Responsible CSR/sustainability reporting acts like a radar for companies by enabling them to be proactive, foresee risks and take action before situations spiral out of control. The well-recognised GRI Standards for CSR/sustainability reporting are an important tool used globally to instill trust in people in our ever-connected world where there is increasing concern about climate change and the protection of our fragile environment. Equally important is that with the GRI Standards, your company gets to build trust and deal responsibly and conscientiously with its impacts on its key stakeholders (clients, suppliers, shareholders, local communities, NGOs or local government) who can hold it back or stop it from reaching its objectives. For instance, it is a well-known fact that trust is a key element in a relationship with clients. By building trust your company creates loyalty and long-term commitment to its services and brands.

To prepare a CSR/sustainability report according to the GRI reporting Standards your first step is to join the next FBRH GRI Certified 2-day course where you will:

  • Learn about GRI’s reporting Standards
  • Conduct stakeholder engagement and materiality assessment. In other words, identify your company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders who can hold your company back or stop it from reaching its objectives
  • Develop report content
  • Manage assurance procedures
  • Communicate your report

 

References:

  1. Cornelissen, J. (2011), Corporate Communications: Theory and Practice, third edition, Sage, London.
  2. Jefferson, S. & Tanton S. (2015), Valuable Content Marketing: How to make quality content your key to success, 2nd Edition, Kogan Page, London.
  3. Damian, R. (2015), Understanding Social Media: How to create a plan for your business that works, Kogan Page, London.
  4. http://www.fbrh.co.uk/csr
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