Four key elements for streamlined sustainability reporting
8 diciembre 2020
As companies gain a greater understanding of sustainability issues in agricultural and forestry supply chains they are faced with a growing number of non-financial disclosure requirements from their investors, customers, and civil society.
By Leah Samberg, AFi
Expectations for corporate sustainability reporting are increasing each year. As companies and their stakeholders gain a greater understanding of sustainability issues in agricultural and forestry supply chains – from GHG emissions and regenerative agriculture to human rights, deforestation, and conversion – companies are faced with a growing number of non-financial disclosure requirements from their investors, customers, and civil society.
To help companies navigate these expectations, the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) provides clarity on sustainability reporting on forest-risk commodities, such as palm oil, beef, soy, cocoa, and pulp and timber. It does this in two primary ways. First, the Framework itself includes a standard approach to reporting on deforestation, ecosystem conversion, and human rights related to forest-risk commodities. Second, the AFi collaborates with key reporting standards and initiatives to align their indicators with the Accountability Framework and increase consistency between reporting systems.
To clarify expectations on reporting content, the Framework’s Operational Guidance identifies four key elements of reporting that apply for all agricultural and forestry commodities and all companies across the value chain:
While the Framework’s guidance provides examples of indicators on these four elements, the AFi does not provide a reporting platform or prescribe specific KPIs. This is because there is often value in defining specific KPIs for each reporting topic based on the specific context of each company. Additionally, companies are already using various reporting standards and tools, and many of these have effective indicators for reporting on each of the four elements for some or all of the scope of the Accountability Framework. The AFi is also working with many of these reporting systems to improve the consistency and alignment of the indicators on which companies are asked to report. For example:
While it might not solve all of your company’s reporting headaches, the Accountability Framework can help you better align your reporting with the expectations of your stakeholders. And by working behind the scenes with reporting systems, the AFi is helping to increase the alignment among reporting standards and indicators to streamline the work of companies to report their sustainability progress.
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