Stand-alone environmental reporting, as a one-off exercise isolated from your other activities, is unlikely to be successful. Environmental reporting will work best based on information from your environmental management system. This provides a mechanism for you to make improvements based on the figures produced in your report, and shows your involvement and commitment to collect the data.
The environmental reporting process
To produce an environmental report you should:
- identify the audience for your report
- talk to the audience to understand their concerns and questions
- identify the internal data you'll need to calculate facts and figures for the report
- collect the data
- decide how you're going to publish the report
- produce and publish the report
- obtain feedback and review the impact of the report
- make improvements
Scope of environmental reporting
If you have more than one site, division, department or business unit, you could produce one business-wide report or individual reports. The advantage of individual reports is that they are more easily understood and relate more directly to individual managers and - in the case of site-based reports - to local communities. Individual reports can then be consolidated into business-wide figures for a broader audience.
Getting outside help on environmental reporting
Think about whether outside help could be useful, especially if environmental reporting is new to you. Consultants can help you to achieve a balanced approach, produce a report that will be easily understood and advise you on the sort of material that should go into it.
The use of independent third-party assurance statements, such as audit-based verification of your environmental data, adds credibility to your environmental reporting by giving stakeholders confidence that your approach is robust and reliable.