Corporate sustainability comes from the concept of “sustainable development.” The World Commission on Environment and Development, a United Nations initiative, defined that concept in 1987. Sustainable development means actions that “meet the needs of present generations without compromising the needs of future generations.
To contribute to sustainable development, businesses should create wealth to reduce poverty, but do so without harming the natural environment. In this way, businesses help our world today and ensure that future generations can also thrive.
Through sustainability reporting, companies communicate their performance and impacts on a wide range of sustainability topics, spanning environmental, social and governance parameters. It enables companies to be more transparent about the risks and opportunities they face, giving stakeholders greater insight into performance beyond the bottom line.
Building and maintaining trust in businesses and governments is fundamental to creating a sustainable global economy and a thriving world. Every day, decisions are made by businesses and governments that have direct impacts on their stakeholders, such as decisions relating to financial institutions, labor organizations, civil society, citizens and the level of trust they have with them. These decisions are rarely based on financial information alone and often consider risks and opportunities related to a variety of short and long-term factors. Sustainability topics are increasingly integrated into these decision-making processes.