World CSR Reporting Program to Launch in Australia
7 October 2015 at 11:25 am
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s corporate reporting program, Redefining Value, will be introduced in Australia through a new partnership between Sustainable Business Australia and the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility.
The program, established as part of World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) 2050 vision, aims to improve the effectiveness of non-financial reporting to include social measurement in corporate performance management and decision-making.
Sustainable Business Australia (SBA) CEO, Andrew Petersen said non-financial outcomes affected the true value, profits and costs of a company, but there remained barriers to successful reporting.
He told Pro Bono Australia News that the greatest challenge in CSR reporting was currently “the question of authenticity, particularly with respect to investors and consumers, and therefore the aspects of trust, transparency and accountability as a matter of corporate governance”.
“There are also the challenges around validation and verification of data and then the communication of that to key stakeholders,” Petersen said.
While Petersen said Australian companies are “historically strong corporate reporters”, the program will flag areas for improvement.
“It will be an interesting insight into the validation of the work that corporate Australia has done over the last 10 to 15 years,” he said.
“It will also be a benchmark as to whether or not that is still best practice or whether there are gaps or whether there are opportunities for increased corporate reporting performance.
“The Redefining Value work stream aims to change the rules of the game by bringing natural and social capital considerations into balance with financial capital considerations and educating the managers of financial capital on the sustainability issues implicit in their business decisions.”
The SBA’s corporate members will take part in the three-year program, assisted by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) in what is their biggest partnership to date.
“We aim to shed light on effective reporting practices in Australia and how they contribute value to organisations and their stakeholders,” ACCSR’s Managing Director, Dr Leeora Black, said.
“We are particularly pleased that this work stream enables us to bring together several of our core competencies – social capital measurement, sustainability reporting and capacity building.”
Petersen said the program, currently in development stages, will begin formally in 2016.