Effective reporting: transparency and (inter)action

Key learnings about the use of new communication tools for Corporate Responsibility
Effective reporting: transparency and (inter)action
Publ. date 5 Apr 2011
Lengthy annual reports, technical CSR abstracts and irrelevant sustainability reporting are history. Reporting needs to become more transparent, more efficient en needs to better adapt to the information needs of the consumer. New communication platforms such as Facebook are used more and more to report on sustainability.

Companies are looking for an interactive dialogue with their stakeholders. One-way communication changes in two-way communication via new media messaging that promotes (inter)action. Transparency is an important driver behind this changing environment.

A good example of transparent and effective reporting on sustainability can be found at the Spanish telecommunication company Telefónica. As one of the largest in the industry and sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), Telefónica is showing leadership on reporting. The CSR reports are divided into three blocks. The first one is dealing with UN Global Compact, GRI and DJSI and provides cross referencing between the various standards. The second block goes deeper into relevant Telefónica issues and the third block contains local projects and goals. Telefónica explains sustainability information from global to local. 

Communicating on sustainability occurs more and more via new media platforms such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and podcasts. Clothing Brand Timberland launched the interactive website Earthkeepers to communicate on sustainability issues. Timberland also chose to report quarterly on sustainability instead of the traditional annual reports.

Examples of frontrunners on transparent and efficient reporting show that interaction with stakeholders is becoming more important. Using social media, promote (inter)action and provide information in smaller amounts in higher frequencies helps to make sustainability reporting more effective and transparent.

For more information on effective and transparent CR communication, please contact Jan van der Kaaij via jan@finchandbeak.com or +31 6 28 02 18 80.

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