From the past two decades, businesses have begun to realize the necessity of sustaining a healthy relationship with the employees, the environment and the society in general. After all, the ultimate aim of a business should be to bring a difference in the lives of the people in a positive way. So, in order to solidify that they are not harming the environment and making the world a better place to live, businesses show sustainability reports to its stakeholders, investors or clients. Usually published annually, this report is also known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.
Any business report is a document that conveys information about growth statistics or an incident that serves a certain purpose. Sustainability reports intend to promote transparency and calculate how the activities of the company or the firm are affecting the environment, climate, society or economy. It not only plays an integral part in making an impression, but also works as a check to see if there is a room for improvement in the company policies. Here is how to write an annual sustainability report step-by-step and how to fabricate the best annual report design:
Elucidate your definition of sustainability
As the name suggests, sustainability report is all about encouraging sustainable development. But how each company perceives sustainability is quite subjective. For some it could be about not doing the things that contribute to pollution or making sure that the employees are not exploited, while for the others it could be donating for a noble cause or providing perks to their workers etc. In the beginning of the report, clearly state what sustainability means to you and your business.
State the objectives clearly
In your annual sustainability report, you must mention what are some objectives you want to achieve in the next few years or so. Put down the short-term goals to be accomplished in the near future. Some of those goals could be ensuring gender equality among the workforce or striving to get ISO certification in cleanliness. You can also explain what triggers you to choose these goals, like a particular social issue that you wish to eradicate can be the trigger.
Mention your achievements too
Now that you have mentioned what you are looking forward to in the future, it is fair enough to mention what you have so far done in the past. For instance, if you have had a free workshop to train the employees, state it in your report. Try making a list of all the achievements that contribute to the general welfare in some way. For this, evaluate your performance against KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Throw some light on your plan
Choosing a target is not enough unless you have a strategy to bring it off. Although you do not have to be too specific about it, inform them that you have a tangible plan in two or three sentences. Or if you want to expound it in detail, that is completely your call.
Provide the synopsis
In the end, make sure to write a brief summary so that all get the gist of it. An affirming utterance of the CEO or any other important figure of the company, showing his accountability for the company’s activities could be included.
Pro Tip: Apart from writing, how you design or structure your sustainability report equally matters. The way you design your annual reports or presentations reflects your company’s values and principles. It has to be clean, sharp and sophisticated for it to be the best annual report design. Avoid choosing a template with too many elements for hassle-free display of information.