Sustainability reporting certifications, where to begin?

Sustainability has never been more relevant for businesses. Corporates and businesses now simply cannot function without considering climate change, biodiversity, access to wages and skills, equitable development etc. simply because these organizations have benefited from the economic growth.

Anyone who works in Sustainability will totally relate when one says that Sustainability reporting is a maze of its own. Truly, to an outsider, it may look like one big alphabet soup!

Let us first see what Sustainability reporting means and why it is important.

Sustainability reporting is simply a tool to communicate sustainability performance and a way to measure the impact of sustainability projects. A sustainability report conveys an organisation’s environmental and social performance. This report is important as it allows to measure success, draw learnings and help better implementation in the future.

Sustainability reporting is not a ‘mere disclosure’ but a map that shows how far a company has come with its sustainability vision and how much farther one needs to go and the best possible way to reach its goals.

Things are moving fast in the sustainability reporting space and last year five of the leading reporting groups; CDP, CDSB (Climate Disclosure Standards Board), GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), IIRC (International Integrated Reporting Council), and SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) announced that they are working together to create a unified reporting index. You can access the report at this link.

For a sustainability professional, it is important to know how sustainability reporting works. With varied industries undertaking sustainability, each one follow a different framework. Therefore it is simply not possible to undertake a certification for each framework. It is possible to learn on the job but a wholesome certification that can give you a head start will help you make impactful and meaningful reports.

Listed below are some great reporting certifications. Do your own research, talk to your peers and seniors and most importantly consider where you see yourself a few years down the line and pick the best certification that works for you. But as they say, until you have prepared a report, it is simply not possible to understand the depth of sustainability reporting.

I am putting together four certifications that you may find useful and these four are the absolute best that is out there in the maze of sustainability reporting.

Have you completed any certifications? Do write in with your experience and recommendations. Tell us in the comments below.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nadhiya Mali
Nadhiya Mali is a communications professional with a 13-year experience in PR, reputation management, CSR, and Sustainability. Currently she leads the Corporate Communications of one of India’s leading chains of laboratories.

1 Comment on "Sustainability reporting certifications, where to begin?"

  1. Hi there,

    Thank you for this article. I wanted to seek your advice on this topic.

    I have been hired by a company to research and write up their sustainability report. This is a large project but one that I feel fairly confident in. I worked for a consultancy company that helped companies disclose their emissions and I also worked with the Carbon Disclosure Project. The company I working for our reporting to ISO and would like to become a part of the GRI standards.

    I am familiar with these processes, however, I wanted to ask: am I abled to write a sustainability report without being certified?

    Any insights into the rules or legalities of this would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks,
    Georgie Power

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