New report highlights the benefits of sustainability reporting

11 May 2010

Beaton Consulting and the Nossal Institute for Global Health recently released a report on sustainability practices and reporting by Australian business across a variety of industry sectors and business types. With over 11,000 participants, the report – people.productivity.planet – highlights the positive benefits that flow to businesses taking action on sustainability and those who report it.

“There is a growing realisation that the environment has a major impact (positive and negative) on human health, and the role of business – in terms of products, services, carbon footprint, community and social operations and investments, to name a few – should not be underestimated,” says Professor Rob Moodie, of the University of Melbourne .

The study revealed that underpinning leading sustainability actions are three key categories of business advantage – efficiency; reputation and market edge. These advantages shine through in the key findings:

  • Huge business community support for sustainability reporting, with 44 per cent believing the benefits of sustainability reporting outweigh the costs and 47 per cent believing that in five years, the majority of businesses will be producing sustainability reports.
  • Supply chain pressures will be a critical drive in the near future with 57 per cent of leaders from reporting organisations saying they would give preference to suppliers who can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, and a further 80 per cent of leaders likely to require suppliers to meet certain sustainability standards in the future.
  • Employee attraction, satisfaction and retention benefits from sustainability actions and reporting is demonstrable with 54 per cent of employees saying they would feel prouder if their organisation demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and 70 per cent of employees in non-reporting organisations would feel they were promoting a healthier and more productive workplace if their organisation committed to sustainability. Some 41 per cent of employees in reporting organisations said if they changed jobs they wouldn’t want to work somewhere that doesn’t tackle sustainability issues.

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