One Step Beyond – Developing Towards Interactive Corporate Sustainability Reporting
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
Informatics for Environmental Protection - Networking Environmental Information
Corporate sustainability communication and reporting
Masaryk University Brno
Providing more interactivity means a real step forward in corporate (online) sustainability reporting both, for companies (reporters) that provide such integrated reports and for various target groups (report users) who are interested in these reports. Interactivity includes procedures to involve target groups and mechanisms to give feedback, facilities of user control, and opportunities to select report contents and design. For companies, these features are of major relevance as they enable reporters to learn users’ issues and concerns and to initiate stakeholder dialogue. For target groups, interactivity is decisive on their perceived satisfaction, and overall attitude on sustainability reporting. Together, interactive sustainability reporting drives corporate reputation and subsequently influences reporting success, perhaps whether users actually pay attention to sustainability reports, how readers assess reliability and value of these documents, and to what extent stakeholders are willing to make use of such communication vehicles for decision making. Today, one-way-communication on sustainability issues merely through one size fits all hard copies or simple electronic duplicates just put on the WWW without any added value may hardly fulfil stakeholder expectations and reporting requirements. In contrast to the importance of issues of communication and how to report in codes of conducts, standards, guidelines, and other recommendations however, current sustainability reporting practice shows significant room for improvements, even for the best reporters. Hence, a framework is proposed and examples of the current practice are presented how a more interactive sustainability reporting approach could be shaped and implemented.