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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reporting
Industry Canada notes that:
Reporting on CSR, then, will include the economic, environmental and social activities of a company: it will inform readers about a company's progress on its environmental policies, goals and targets. CSR Reports aid in engaging external and internal stakeholders with environmental issues.
The table below summarizes the types of practices found in the Greening Retail best practice database that pertain to CSR reporting and includes the number of companies for which this practice is described in the database.
Breadth of Practice
An excellent way to ensure credibility for a CSR report and to make sure the report is comprehensive is to use third-party guidelines, such as the Global Reporting Initiative framework. This framework is discussed in one of the case studies in the Greening Retail database. A retailer may also receive guidance by gathering input from external stakeholders, as described in three of the case studies. To provide assurance that data is correct, outside consultants are also hired. To track and inform stakeholders of progress, these reports are ideally produced annually. To be accountable, CSR reports are made accessible to the public.
Use Third-Party Reporting Standards
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has produced one of the most well-known set of guidelines for reporting on CSR. The initiative is a large multi-stakeholder network of thousands of experts, in dozens of countries worldwide, who participate in GRI's working groups and governance bodies, use the GRI Guidelines to report, access information in GRI-based reports, or contribute to developing the Reporting Framework in other ways-both formally and informally.
Group Eroski's Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Report is "in accordance". The decision to report "in accordance" with the Guidelines is an option, not a requirement. It is designed for reporters that are ready for a high level of reporting and who seek to distinguish themselves as leaders in the field.
Gather Input from Stakeholders
To increase the integrity and credibility of reporting, it is a good idea to involve external people in the processes of producing it. For example, at the Musgrave Group, input was sought from a broad range of stakeholders for their opinions in relation to the issues that they perceived to be most relevant to the company, and therefore, deserving of more in-depth focus.
Likewise, for The Body Shop's report, they invited five stakeholders to comment on the role of The Body Shop, on business in general and on some of the global community's greatest challenges, such as HIV/AIDS, tropical deforestation, domestic violence, animal testing and economic development of the poorest communities.
Before going to press, a good practice is to have a CSR Report reviewed by a variety of people. Boots' report was checked by internal personnel, external consultants, and regulatory authorities. The data in the report that covers April 2005 to March 2006 has been rigorously verified by means of five distinct processes.
Produce Regular Reports
Reports can show year-on-year CSR improvements. For example, building on the base established by their previous reports, Office Depot®'s Corporate Citizenship Reports highlights key initiatives, offers quantitative metrics and includes personal anecdotes about the many ways in which they brought their Office Depot® values to life. The report focuses on the ways in which the company demonstrates its commitment to Community, Ethics, Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability in North America as well as globally.
To be held accountable, a retailer will make their reports readily accessible to the public. For example, Wal-Mart Stores Inc released a report that outlines the progress it is making in meeting its goals, such as cutting waste and reducing energy at the discount retailer's stores. Wal-Mart, which began the environmental push in 2005, has set a goal of one day using only renewable energy and creating zero waste.
This synopsis was compiled from case studies in the Greening Retail Best Practice Database. Sources for the information in the case studies are available in the database.
This database contains links to case studies of environmental best practice from retailers around the world. You can search this database by the name of the company only, or you can find case studies that match one or several specific criteria, such as the type of retailer, the type of best practice, the company's country of origin, and/or project return on investment.
Simply select your search criteria in the spaces provided and hit the "search" button to come up with a list of the kinds of case studies you're looking for.
Please note that we cannot include all the practices of every retailer; therefore, the non-inclusion of a company, or of a certain area of practice for a company, does not mean that they do not presently have progressive environmental initiatives in these areas.
If you would like to submit a case study to be added to the database,
please contact email@example.com.