Module 3

Module 3: Sustainability Reporting and communication

The energy transition discussions, the phase-out of nuclear power in Germany till 2020, and the change of environmental awareness in Germany shown in the study "Environmental awareness in Germany 2010", representative population survey done by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, November 2010, indicates that environmental protection is one of the important topics. Environmental protection was voted with 20 % as third main topic.

Companies must deal with the following question (starting position):

  • What is sustainability and how companies express the sustainability vision into their organization and processes?
  • What are the requirements of the company?
  • How can demands from current discussions of sustainability be integrated into the company?
  • How can sustainability as management process be integrated into a company?
  • Is sustainability a real cost factor or even a competitive advantage?
  • How can sustainability reporting with current guidelines and previously generated reports be combined?
  • Environmental protection efforts are not in focus, often just a passive environment protection, how can sustainability management be established?
  • Sustainability discussions often describes the view from politics and public towards companies. How can companies appropriate response / participation towards the discussions?
  • Sustainability discussions - View of the politicians and the public on the company can look like an appropriate response / participation?

Objectives in Module 3 of the IT-for-Green project is a holistic, inter- and proactive reporting!

Therefore, in the module an IT-for-Green schema is generated with following entities shown in the figure (below):

  • Standard relevant entities (green)
  • Report relevant entities (purple)

The standard entity is able to comprise thematically aspects regarding sustainability reporting guidelines such as GRI G4 “EN1 - Materials used by weight or Volume”. Several guidelines can be mapped on a standard to be used for the company sustainability report. The guidelines include quality aspects (statements e.g. foreword of the CEO) which can include quantity aspects (indicators e.g. measurement of water or energy consumption in cubic meters or kilo watt).

The report entities are mapping statements towards report layer statement which are included in report layers. The reporting layers are belonging to a reporting schema showing the structure of the sustainability report.

The module supports all stages in the process of sustainability reporting from building up a team concerning sustainability, specifying reporting cycles and guidelines to follow to create a standard in the IT-for-Green solution, setting boarders of reporting, defining reporting content and informing the employees involved in the process to gathering and creating the required data. Also, the solution support review phases on different process levels till the publication.

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