Sustainability Reporting – Developing a Landscape Mapping Tool for Business

Source: WBCSD , 1 May 2015

WBCSD and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) are developing a web-based tool and database to help business understand and navigate the complex and fragmented corporate sustainability reporting landscape.

WBCSD’s vision for the economy is that by 2050 a business should be measured by its ‘True Value’ and should use ‘True Costs’ and ‘True Profits’ in its internal and external reporting. This involves a redefinition of profit and loss, performance and value creation to integrate longer-term environmental and social impacts. The development of standardized frameworks for business to integrate social and natural capital into decision-making are essential to achieving this aim. WBCSD and CDSB believe that corporate reporting must adapt to reflect integrated management and facilitate informed and sustainable decision making. However, the information that businesses are required to disclose in their annual, sustainability or integrated reports varies significantly. The landscape of reporting frameworks, regulation, policies, standards and guidance becomes more diverse and complex as voluntary and mandatory reporting initiatives emerge.

In response to this issue and a call from its membership, the WBCSD has partnered with the CDSB to launch the three year Reporting Landscape Mapping project. This project, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, aims to develop a pioneering web-based tool and database which will help business untangle the complexity of the corporate sustainability reporting landscape. This database of reporting provisions will enable business to assess how the rules, methods or practices used to guide the content of corporate reports are relevant and applicable to them. This will enhance and consolidate the disclosure of sustainability information in corporate reporting and encourage the convergence of reporting.

The first pilot version of the database is planned for late autumn 2015. WBCSD and CDSB are seeking input from companies who would like to contribute to the development process and participate in the pilot program.