In the business world, sustainability is defined as a focus on the “triple bottom line”—managing environmental, social, and economic risks and opportunities. They are often referred to as the “3Ps”: people, planet, and profit. Striking the right balance between these three aspects is the main challenge of enterprise sustainability and the main focus of sustainability reporting efforts.
Over the past decade, sustainability reporting has evolved from being driven by idealism—or considerations of favorable PR outcomes—to standing on its own merits as an opportunity to share and drive enterprise strategy. Regardless of political and personal beliefs, many companies have been adopting sustainable practices, partially because of their advantages in the areas of cost-cutting and risk mitigation. As a result of increased adoption, more substantive “material” data is coming in from multiple sources, primarily through the “next generation” sustainability reporting, which the Global Reporting Initiative defines as conveying “sustainability-related information in a way that is comparable to financial reporting.”
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