On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, UPFM hosted a roundtable discussion entitled "Sustainability Reporting: Between Myth and Reality", moderated by prof. Roberto Biloslavo, Programme Director of the Master's Degree Programme in Sustainable Development Management, within the framework of the project "Green, Digital and Inclusive UP (GDI UP)".
Sustainability reporting allows us to monitor company impacts on society and the environment. The aim is to ensure transparency and therefore accountability of companies regarding their sustainability impact. An essential element of sustainability reporting is the use of standards and guidelines such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, which are the most widely used sustainability reporting model in the world today, or the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) guidelines for sustainability reporting. The latter provides a structure and procedures for reporting, allowing comparability between companies and facilitating the assessment of companies' sustainability performance.
But which benefits can sustainability reporting bring?
Sustainability reporting increases transparency and trust between companies and their stakeholders, including consumers, investors, employees, and local communities. It can also help companies identify sustainability challenges and opportunities and develop strategies to improve their sustainability performance. The latter can stimulate innovation and contribute to a company's competitive advantage or brand awareness.
However, there is considerable variability in the scope and detail of sustainability reporting between companies. Some companies report only basic information, while others provide more extensive and detailed information on the impact of their business activities on nature, the individual, and society. Importantly, sustainability reporting is not just a marketing tool, but a thorough, credible, and comparable report on what a company does. In Slovenia too, more and more companies are recognising the importance of sustainability reporting and integrating it into their business practices. This is partly due to the demands of stakeholders, especially large international corporations, but also due to legislation and broader trends toward a more sustainable and responsible economy.
A well-done sustainability report requires not only knowledge of sustainability reporting standards but also other specific competences that are currently lacking in the labour market. This is because companies should pursue key sustainability themes that are relevant to them in terms of their industry, environmental and social impact, including sustainability strategy, key performance indicators, and values. The topics covered in sustainability reporting include climate change, natural resource management, waste, social responsibility, ethical business, employee health and safety, and social inclusion. A sustainability report can highlight the sustainability achievements of companies, such as emissions reductions, energy efficiency gains, sustainability certifications achieved, etc., but it should also present the challenges companies face in achieving their sustainability goals, thus providing a compass for the future development of the company.
Participants of the round table were: Polona Debeljak, Mateja Trobec, Larissa Muzica, and Aleš Kranjc Kušlan.
You are invited to watch the VIDEO.
The project is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation and the European Union – NextGenerationEU. The project is implemented in accordance with the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) under the development area Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, component Strengthening competencies, in particular digital competencies and those required by the new professions and the green transition (C3 K5), for the investment measure Investment F. Implementation of pilot projects, the results of which will serve as a basis for the preparation of a roadmap for the reform of higher education for a green and resilient transition to a Society 5.0: project Pilot Projects for the Reform of Higher Education for a Green and Resilient Transition.