[solved]Module 12: External Sustainability Reporting and Verification
Module 12: External Sustainability Reporting and Verification
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Module 12: Critical Thinking
Impact of ISO 14001 and AA1000 Regulations on Stakeholders (100 points)
Analyze how ISO 14001 and AA1000 regulations protect stakeholders. Do these regulations and reports have an impact on how investors see the long-term viability of an organization or company in which they plan to invest?
What are examples of this in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where this reporting occurs? In a 4-5 page paper, not including the cover and reference pages, explain how these regulations impact future investors, local stakeholders, and the organization’s or company’s sustainability.
Use Saudi Electronic University academic writing standards and APA style guidelines, citing references as appropriate.
Below is Module 12: Interactive Lecture
MGT630 – Business Ethics and Sustainability
Module 12: External Sustainability Reporting and Verification
Table of Contents Tools
Note: The following readings may require you to be logged in to the Saudi Digital Library. You may do that here.
Chapter 9 in Making Sustainability Work
Lu, Y., & Abeysekera, I. (2017). What do stakeholders care about? Investigating corporate social and environmental disclosure in China. Journal of Business Ethics, 144(1), 169-184.
Massa, L., Farneti, F., & Scappini, B. (2015). Developing a sustainability report in a small to medium enterprise: Process and consequences. Meditari Accountancy Research, 23(1), 62-91.
For Your Success
We will explore the sustainability efforts that interest stakeholders most and how an organization informs its stakeholders on its sustainability efforts. We begin our examination of what should be covered and why, which will continue in Module 13.
Review the following required activities for this week:
There is a Critical Thinking Assignment due this week. You will write an analysis on the ways in which ISO 14001 and AA1000 regulations protect stakeholders.
Take the next graded quiz, covering content from Modules 11 and 12.
Examine external sustainability reporting and verification.
Evaluate standards for sustainability reporting and verification.
1. Sustainability Efforts
Do certain sustainability efforts grab the attention of stakeholders more than others? The answer is yes. Epstein and Buhovac (2014) noted one study that identified the top five sustainability efforts of interest to stakeholders as human rights, eco/energy efficiency, health and safety, climate protection, and environmental management of the production process.
So, does that mean that all companies should focus on these five priorities? The answer is no. Different organizations have different stakeholders and operate in different business environments. The organization must determine which types of sustainability activities it should engage in based on its unique circumstances.
For example, a diamond mining company might decide to focus on improving the health of the people in the underdeveloped country where the diamonds are mined. Otherwise, the company may not have a healthy workforce available to mine the diamonds. Or, a jewelry store might focus on improving its supply chain by insisting on responsible and ethical sourcing practices from its diamond suppliers.
Before continuing, take a moment to watch the following video, which asks (and answers) the question, “Why sustainability?”
Steve Howard: Let’s Go All-In on Selling Sustainability
What priorities does the speaker identify for IKEA? Where do these align with the top five efforts listed previously?
2. Sustainability Information for Stakeholders
Stakeholders have specific expectations with regard to the sustainability information they receive from organizations. External sustainability reports strive to provide this information. For more information, listen to an audio explanation of sustainability reporting here—What is Sustainability Reporting?
Certain principles and standards tend to guide the organization when developing a sustainability report. Let’s examine some of these in more detail—click on the following tabs.
Take a moment to watch the following video on the benefits of sustainability and sustainability reporting.
Eco-Business Explains Sustainability Reporting
The video notes that the benefits of sustainability reporting extend beyond just numbers. What are these benefits?
3. What Do Stakeholders Want to Know?
Stakeholders want to know about more than just the bottom-line financial measures when it comes to reporting. Instead, they want to know about the triple bottom line, which includes social and environmental considerations as well.
Stakeholders want to see the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the business and its operations. They also want to see what the company is doing to reduce negative impacts. For example, they may want information on the sources of energy the company uses, the amount of recycled materials it utilizes, voluntary and involuntary employee turnover numbers, and the results of polls regarding the organization’s image and reputation.
The following video provides another interesting look at the issue of sustainability reporting.
Sustainability Reporting: Reporting for Stakeholders while Building a Competitive Advantage
The speaker mentions that a study of sustainability professionals found that they ranked customers as the most important audience for their sustainability reporting. The next most important group was employees, with the respondents viewing reporting as a tool they could use for recruitment and retention purposes. Does this ranking surprise you?
Consider your own organization or one you know well with regard to sustainability. Could you answer any of the following questions?
How much waste does the organization create?
How much energy does it take to run the organization? What is the source of that energy? How much does it cost, and what does it do to the environment? Are there alternative sources that could be used?
What about the amount of paper that the organization uses? Could that amount be easily cut in half? Is the paper that the organization uses recycled? If not, why not?
What about the amount of organizational turnover, both voluntary and involuntary? Is this a high or low number, and what can be done within the organization to reduce that number?
If you can’t answer these questions (or similar questions), does this mean that the organization does not engage in sustainability reporting? If given the opportunity to recommend sustainability reporting to management, what would you say?
4. The Format of Information
Of course, it is up to an organization to decide whether or not it will report on sustainability, and if it does, it will choose the format it wants to use.
How do stakeholders want to get this information? There is not one answer. Some might prefer to receive it at annual shareholders’ meetings, for example, while others might want on-demand access to these documents from the company’s website.
The length of these documents is also a consideration. People do not have a great deal of time to wade through an enormous amount of information to learn about an organization’s sustainability measures. One stakeholder survey found that the majority of individuals would like these documents to be less than 50 pages long (Epstein & Buhovac, 2014). However, if the documents were in electronic format, the organization could take the time to create links to the different sections of the documents, so the stakeholders could easily jump to the topics they want to read.
Check Your Understanding
Answer the question or define the term on the front of the card before flipping the card over to check your answer.
Click Here to Begin
AccountAbility. (2018). AA1000 accountability principles. Retrieved from https://www.accountability.org/standards/
Global Reporting Initiative. (2018). GRI 101: Foundation 2016. Retrieved from https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/media/1036/gri-101-foundation-2016.pdf#page=%2010
Epstein, M. J., & Buhovac, A. J. (2014). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental, and economic impacts (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.