Which state was named best climate for business four years in a row? Which has the most travelled airport in the world? Where are 25 of the FT 500 headquartered? If you guessed Atlanta, Georgia, you are spot on. With this much opportunity, corporations are looking for ways to leverage their resources.
They may be surprised to find that TRANSPARENCY is key.
Research from the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) finds definitive evidence supporting the benefits of transparency in Corporate Sustainability Reporting. CSE research links Sustainability Strategies and Reporting to positive financial results.
These findings have been presented around the world during CSE’s Global Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program. The encouraging findings have been welcomed by executives from Atlanta companies and organizations as diverse as the Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta Motorsports Park, Exide Technologies, Home Depot, HD Supply and Coca-Cola.
CSE closely tracks sustainability reporting trends in North America. These trends can be used to strengthen Atlanta’s position as the business “capitol of the Southeast”. CSE’s Sustainability Reporting Trends in North America 2018 research, along with previous findings on Silicon Valley, represent an ongoing commitment to provide timely and relevant sustainability content for C-level and upper management corporate leaders.
CSE has developed a Return on Sustainability (RoS) model which will be presented at the Atlanta practitioner program. Enablers include a culture of transparency and comprehensive strategic goals that respond to stakeholders’ expectations. Transparency does not only refer to putting out a sustainability report, but to including material metrics which are verified.
With a focus on sustainability, companies gain high sustainability ratings (ESG), and stakeholder perceptions are positively influenced. Positive financial performance was demonstrated in two-thirds of companies linking transparency to strong communications.
Other important emerging trends:
* Companies with the highest sustainability rankings have better financial performance than companies with lower rankings based on CSRHub ratings.
* While there is still poor adoption of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), rates have doubled since last year – driven by stakeholder expectations.
* Most companies use the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.
* Carbon footprint reduction is a priority, with many companies having well-stated and measured targets.
CSE’s Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program (Advanced Edition 2019) offers corporate trainings on these key topics and many others. The first 2019 programs in North America are in Atlanta, Feb. 21-22; Toronto, April 11-12; and Seattle, April 15-16, 2019.