From the transport we use, the energy powering our homes, to the clothes we wear, ‘sustainability’ is a word we’re increasingly hearing. Generally, people are starting to understand that our impact on the planet, through our growing population, food production and international travel, has to be addressed for the sake of future generations.
It is clear that businesses of all types and sizes have a vital role to play in minimising impacts. In the travel and tourism sector especially, informed customers and investors want to hear about companies’ sustainability performance and it has become a real challenge for small businesses to respond efficiently and effectively.
People care about who they travel with – they want to know the impact their travel is having on the destination and the environment, from their carbon footprint to the local people they meet during their visit.
To unite everyone working towards a more environmentally balanced, ethical business with a simple to use, flexible service that helps you monitor, achieve and share your sustainability goals.
Producing an integrated sustainability report is the most powerful way of showing customers how you are performing in terms of the social, economic and environmental impact of your everyday operations – and what your targets are. It shows investors you are serious about sustainability and gives you a competitive advantage.
The challenge is reporting in a way that is effective and efficient – giving stakeholders the information they need in a clear, concise way that doesn’t take up huge amounts of your staff’s time.
As well as detailing the impact of everyday operations, a sustainability report should also act as a platform for measuring and monitoring your business’s improvement over a set period of time; set goals and plan for the future; benchmark your impacts against similar organisations; highlight key areas of success or those in need of improvement; and share knowledge within the business. By integrating these findings into your business strategy and policies in order to improve overall performance across the triple bottom line, the result benefits not only the planet but your profits too.
Typically, a business will select key areas of importance – such as energy usage, waste management, or employee welfare – establish a timeframe and collect data on an on-going basis to use in the report. By reporting annually, companies can demonstrate their commitment and progress.
In a word – everyone. Reporting doesn’t have to be a lengthy process, or a dry and tedious tickbox exercise. In its essence, reporting is simply a means of collating and sharing information and so for many businesses it will already form part of day to day practice – sustainability is simply another subject to include.
With benefits ranging from the local and immediate to those on a longer-term global scale, there are many reasons why we should all be engaging with sustainability reporting.