The global economy is showing signs of recovery and now that boards can breathe more easily attention is turning once more to sustainability reporting. Of course many companies are already taking their civic responsibilities very seriously but none other than UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used the triennial UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit, to discuss sustainability reporting and introduce a new architecture “designed to drive and scale up corporate actions to directly advance United Nations goals”.
As if disclosure requirements weren’t pressing enough the UN Secretary-General added, “First, I want you to see what more you can or should be doing in your own operations and in your relationships with trading partners. Second, I want you to act on your commitment by helping to swell the ranks of the Global Compact so we reach a critical mass. Third, I want you to consider how to use your expertise and resources to help to promote the changes we need for a truly sustainable future. We need you to advance innovations and forge collaborations that can have transformative impacts on some of the toughest issues we face. I am firmly committed to the power of partnerships, working with business and all key stakeholders to make progress on UN objectives.”
In the same week a survey by Deloitte Switzerland showed that the average length of annual reports fell from an average of 200 pages in 2011 to 185 pages in 2012. Lets’ hope that in the efforts to improve sustainability actions (and disclosures) the business community continues to cut down less trees.