The latest New Bottom line is now posted — a wee bit behind its usual monthly schedule — at both the Natural Logic web site and in the Sustainability Sundays section at WorldChanging.com.
CSR Reporting: Current Practices and Future Trends reports the results of an unscientific survey of CSR reporters we conducted in late 2004 in collaboration with GreenBiz.com.
Summary findings (I can’t see the sense of posting the whole article in a third location :-):
* While most people think of CSR
reports as aimed at external audiences, employees were cited as the
most important audience for these reports, with external stakeholders a
close second; company management is far behind, with NGOs and media the
* Reports continue to move from
print based to on-line, but most respondents seem to have a rather
limited definition of ‹interactivityŠ and a limited vision of just how
these reports can impact employees and management.
* While most companies publish
separate CSR reports and annual reports, there is clear interest in
integrating them in some way – combined reports; synchronized and
jointly released reports; summarizing the CSR report within the annual
report – yet substantial concern over the difficulties of doing so.
* Companies are greatly
concerned with the accuracy of the data they collect and report, as
well as with the timeliness, and complexity of the data management
* Despite increasing discussion
of automation of data management and integration with management
systems, companies – even very sophisticated ones – are still largely
dependent on spreadsheets for data collection and management, while a
significant minority have built custom applications.
* The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is important or very important for most companies, yet of little of no importance for a significant minority.
Read the full article (and supplemental material that will be
posted shortly) for conclusions — for example, “CSR reporting still
labors under inefficient processes that would not be tolerated for more
mission critical tasks” — and recommendations.
(You can join the New Bottom Line mailing list to get these articles by email each month.)