Sustainability reporting is mainstream today and numerous organizations measure and communicate the environmental, social and economic impacts of their actions and activities. However the practice has only recently become commonplace among leading organizations and can be attributed to three fundamental trends in recent history:
- Birth of the environmental movement and the emergence of civil society to address pressing environmental and social issues
- Global business expansion and concerns around responsible and inclusive growth
- Demands for greater accountability, responsible behavior and transparency among all institutions
Organizations today, including civil society, private enterprise and government, are increasingly held accountable for their behavior, practices and impacts on the world in which they operate. They are expected to transparently and voluntarily disclose their performance in order to maintain credibility and trust.In this context, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has asked the Columbia University Earth Institute Capstone Team to help identify the best sustainability reporting approach for an organization of their size and type.