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Beyond Carbon: The Importance of Reporting Across All of Sustainability


By Ayna Custovic

Carbon emissions have been a key focus in the environmental aspect of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, but it is crucial to understand that sustainability includes a much broader range of issues.

Undoubtedly, carbon emissions are an important factor to measure due to their contribution to climate change. However, simply reducing your carbon footprint does not fully capture the impacts of your business on sustainability, or address the complex challenges faced by companies and society as a whole.

In order to truly measure ESG impacts, it is essential to gather data across other environmental impacts as well as social responsibility and governance. Doing so will give an accurate and transparent representation of your company’s ESG impact, as well as allow for strategic planning to make improvements to address any issues and reduce emissions.

Read on to find out more about the other factors that sustainability reporting includes:

Environmental impacts

Environmental concerns go far beyond just carbon, and include aspects such as:

- Water management and conservation

- Waste reduction and recycling

- Pollution prevention

- Biodiversity and ecosystem preservation

- Sustainable sourcing of raw materials

By measuring these broader environmental issues, companies can get a true idea of their impact on the planet and set targets in order to reduce negative impacts, displaying their commitment to sustainability.

Social responsibility

The social aspect of ESG reporting is equally important and extends far beyond carbon emissions. Companies must report on their efforts to create a positive social impact, including:

- Ensuring fair labour practices and working conditions

- Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace

- Contributing to community development

- Respecting human rights throughout their operations and supply chains

Addressing social issues is essential for creating a positive working environment, building trust with stakeholders and the workforce, and aiding the overall well-being of society.

Governance practices

Strong governance practices are fundamental to sustainable and ethical business operations. ESG reporting should include aspects such as:

- Board diversity and independence

- Stakeholder rights and responsibilities

- Executive pay

- Anti-corruption and anti-bribery measures

- Cybersecurity and data privacy practices

- Risk management

By reporting on these factors, companies can build trust, mitigate risks, and strengthen long-term business resilience.

While measuring carbon emissions is crucial, true sustainability in ESG reporting requires a robust approach that considers the entire spectrum of environmental, social, and governance issues, and there is an increasing demand for transparency and accountability across all aspects of sustainability from stakeholders.

By adopting a comprehensive approach to ESG reporting that goes beyond carbon emissions, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and helping the planet as a whole.

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