Ceres-ACCA Seek Nominations for North American Sustainability Reporting Awards

Source: CERES, 28 September 2005

Ceres, a U.S-based coalition of investor and environmental groups, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in Canada, are seeking submissions for the 2005 Ceres-ACCA North American Awards for Sustainability Reporting.

Application Deadline is Nov. 4, 2005
The awards program, now in its fourth year, is designed to highlight best practices in reporting on sustainability, environmental and social performance by North American companies and other organizations and to provide guidance to other groups that are publishing or intend to publish sustainability reports.

The awards are not intended to endorse or reward company performance, but rather to acknowledge exemplary disclosure that places performance in the broader context of sustainability challenges, risks and opportunities. The judging criteria address completeness, credibility and quality of communication. A jury of eight to 10 judges will be selected in the coming weeks and will include North American leaders and experts representing a broad spectrum of backgrounds. The winning reports will be announced in spring 2006.

"Hundreds of companies are increasing their accountability to investors and other stakeholders by devoting serious time and energy on reports disclosing the social and environmental impacts of their operations,” said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres. “We think it is important to recognize innovation and leadership on cutting-edge sustainability reporting. We are proud to be working with the ACCA, one of the most important and globally-minded accounting organizations in the world, to advance this important trend toward improved disclosure and transparency in North America.”

Last year, 66 reporting award applications were received, of which 18 were short-listed and four were ultimately selected as award winners. Hewlett-Packard received the top sustainability reporting award overall. Both ACCA and Ceres expect a higher number of applicants this year.

Any Canadian, American or Mexican company, institution or organization can submit a report. An organization not based in Canada, the United States, or Mexico can submit a report if it is solely focused on a site or subsidiary based in Canada, the United States or Mexico. The awards will be given for reports published in 2005 for year 2004 performance. Companies may apply on their own behalf or be nominated by others.

"Sustainability reporting is a key driver of corporate social responsibility behaviors,” said Lynn Beauregard, administrative director of ACCA Canada. “It plays a vital role in improving not only communication, but also credibility and trust between organizations and their stakeholders. It also provides a clear framework for all stakeholders to compare companies on their environmental performance.”

Ceres launched and led the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) with the United Nations Environment Program, until it became an independent, international standard-setting organization in 2002. More than 700 companies worldwide, including many Ceres companies, follow the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in their sustainability reports. ACCA has been promoting greater transparency in corporate reporting of social and environmental impacts for over a decade and is involved in similar reporting awards throughout Europe, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region.

There are three reporting award categories: Sustainability Reporting, Environmental Reporting and Social Reporting. The same report cannot be entered into more than one category.

For further information, contact Debra Hall at Ceres at 617-247-0700 x 22 or hall@ceres.org or Nigel Hall at ACCA Canada at 416-966-2225 or Nigel.Hall@ca.accaglobal.com