Assurance of Sustainability Reports: Creating Positive Growth
Apr. 10 2019
We are on the forefront of a global change in terms of business and corporate approaches to sustainability and environmental practises across all industry sectors. Recent market studies demonstrate a significant escalation in stakeholder demand for greater transparency and compliance with regards to social and environmental performance of national and international businesses. Sustainability disclosure has been demonstrated to act as a key point of difference for competitive industries, cultivating investor confidence, stakeholder trust and loyalty.
Top business leaders worldwide recognise the significance and importance of implementing sustainable business management practices and systems within their organisational structure. Sustainability reporting entails companies collecting information regarding processes and impacts around social, economic and environmental standards and generating a sustainability report, which may then be independently assessed. To meet the requirements of today’s rapidly evolving environment, businesses now incorporate sustainability reports as a tool to disclose their sustainability performance, demonstrate accountability and align their strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals.
We share the vision to build businesses that create positive growth not only in terms of financial profitability, but also in terms of broader social and environmental benefits. Bureau Veritas supports business leaders to create more sustainable organisational structures. Our sustainability services provide independent assurance of our client’s Sustainability Reports in accordance with our standard procedures and guidelines for external Verification of Sustainability Reports.
Bureau Veritas have an in-depth understanding of industry current best practice in independent assurance. We conduct our evaluations against applicable Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards to generate a final Independent Assurance Statement for our clientele. GRI is an international independent organisation with a network-based structure and is a Collaborating Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme.
Our methodology for conducting Assurance of Sustainability Reports may entail:
- Interviews with relevant personnel;
- Reviews of documentary evidence generated by the client’s representatives;
- Audit of performance data;
- Review of client systems for quantitative data aggregation and analysis;
- Site visitation to verify operational activities; and
- Delivery of Independent Assurance Statement.
Working with an independent body such as Bureau Veritas provides an objective view of your sustainability reporting and reassures stakeholders that the information is accurate and free of bias. Beyond verifying report data, independent assurance also ensures that the right kind of information is communicated.
Sustainability reporting has been shown to have a positive impact to consumer sentiment and has been demonstrated to generate long term financial benefits for organisations.
Sustainability reporting has also been demonstrated to establish a number benefits for organisations, including:
- Enhanced safe-work cultures;
- Improved access to capital;
- Better reputation;
- Capacity building;
- Minimisation of negative impacts to environment;
- Creation of positive social legacies for future generations;
- Enhanced respect and integrity for and within organisations; and
- Community collaboration opportunities leading to greater social cohesion.