All Articles Leadership Management CSR and sustainability reports can be a treasure trove

CSR and sustainability reports can be a treasure trove

1 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Sustainability — tracks feedback from more than 17,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter. This week’s analysis is provided by Elaine Cohen, sustainability reporter at Beyond Business.

Last week we asked: Do you encourage employees to read sustainability reports?

  • No, we don’t publish a report. 36.84%
  • Yes, to get sustainability ideas we can reapply. 28.95%
  • No, we see no value in reading sustainability reports. 21.05%
  • Yes, but only our own report. 7.89%
  • Yes, to see what our competitors are doing. 5.26%

Sustainability reports as treasure troves — CSR reports provide a wealth of information about company and sector activity, and are often showcases for best sustainability practices. Reading sustainability reports contributes to understanding peer company activities and provides new insights about what works in sustainability. More than 34% of readers confirm taking advantage of this worthwhile — and free! — resource from other companies, but almost 58% of readers do not. Given that 60% of people who read reports are positively influenced by them (Reporting Change , 2010), perhaps companies who ignore reports are missing out on important market intelligence.