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Story 2023-07-19

The importance of sustainability reporting

Sustainability has become a very popular and, in most cases, overused word. While most marketing messages tout sustainability, in reality, only a few things in today's world are truly sustainable. That is why we sat down with Hanna Angel - Aurobay's Sustainability Manager to discuss sustainability reporting, its meaning, and importance.

What is sustainability reporting?

Sustainability reporting involves sharing information with stakeholders about a company's environmental and social impacts and its commitment to sustainability. It covers areas such as policies, procedures, key performance indicators, and sustainability-related risks and opportunities.

The importance of sustainability reporting

Beyond ethical considerations, companies engage in sustainability reporting due to legal requirements and growing market demand for transparency. In Sweden, for example, the Årsredovisningslagen mandates that some companies operating in the country must disclose their sustainability reports. Through transparent reporting on sustainability performance, companies give stakeholders more insight into how sustainability matters are managed, which can lead to an increased pressure from its stakeholders on improving over time. Furthermore, upcoming legislation within the European Union will impose stricter requirements on sustainability reporting. These regulations enable investors, customers, and stakeholders to make more informed decisions, considering not only a company's financial performance but also its environmental and social impact. Understanding the environmental and social impact of businesses is of utmost importance, as our societies and ultimately our economy is fundamentally dependent on the well-being of the ecosystems of our planet.

Demonstrating commitment to sustainable practices

Sustainability reporting allows companies to showcase their dedication to sustainable practices. The reporting could also provide companies with an opportunity to demonstrate their ambitions and measure progress against their previous yearly performance by identifying and addressing their most significant sustainability issues. Effective sustainability reporting strengthens collaboration with stakeholders and ensures the company focuses on the most relevant aspects, and responsible business practices.

Driving improvements and reducing environmental impact

While the act of reporting itself may not directly identify key actions or impacts, the process leading up to sustainability reporting plays an important role. Companies engage in extensive work to collect data and information across the organization, assessing sustainability performance and identifying areas for improvement. Sustainability reports enable us to track and compare a company's performance over time and benchmark it against industry peers, providing valuable insights for enhancing more sustainable practices.

Challenges and addressing them

Implementing sustainability reporting comes with challenges, primarily related to data collection and information management. Gathering comprehensive environmental data, such as greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation, and water usage, is a complex task. Additionally, integrating social and governance aspects such as worker well-being, human rights, and anti-corruption measures adds further complexity. To ensure effective reporting and meaningful impact, it is essential to conduct a thorough assessment of risks, opportunities, and potential impacts in collaboration with company leaders and key stakeholders. This exercise lays the foundation for defining strategies, targets, performance indicators, and procedures. By measuring and reporting on the most relevant sustainability aspects, companies can gain insights on their progress and necessary improvements needed for meeting sustainability targets.

A portrait of a female Aurobay employee smiling at the camera

Hanna Angel

Sustainability Manager