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What Is an ESG Report & How It Impacts Your Brand

Learn what is ESG reporting and why is it important. Understand the definition, meaning, and purpose of ESG disclosure, how it’s done and future trends.

Dominika Krukowska

5 minute read

What is an ESg report
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Short answer

How to make an ESG report?

An ESG report is a document that outlines a company's performance in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) areas. It serves as a measure of a company's sustainability and ethical practices, providing transparency for stakeholders, including investors, employees, and the wider community.

Badly made ESG reports can lead to reputational damage and lost opportunities

As a marketing and communications specialist, you're tasked with navigating the complex world of ESG reporting. Missteps can lead to reputational damage and lost opportunities.

This blog post demystifies ESG reports, providing the knowledge you need to enhance your company's sustainability narrative. Ignoring ESG could cost your company its competitive edge. Dive in to safeguard your company's future.

This is what an engaging report could look like:

Meta - Interactive corporate report

Meta - Interactive corporate report

Insights and trends from Israel's thriving consumer-facing industry. A comprehensive review of the B2C ecosystem's performance and future prospects.

What does ESG mean?

An ESG report includes a company's performance in areas of environmental, social, and governance (ESG), such as energy use, waste management, employee relations, and corporate ethics.

Let’s look at each letter in the ESG acronym on its own:

  • Environmental: Think of this as a company's footprint on Mother Earth. It's all about how a company uses energy, manages waste, and reduces pollution. It's like the company's pledge to treat our planet with respect.

  • Social: This is where a company shows its human side. How does it treat its employees? What about its customers and the communities it operates in? It's all about building relationships that last.

  • Governance: This is the company's rulebook. It's about how the company is run, how it manages conflicts of interest, and how it treats its shareholders. It's the company's promise to play fair and square.

Why are ESG reports important for business success?

Why should we care about ESG reports? What makes them so important? Let's explore the reasons.

ESG reporting isn't just a fad, it's a rising trend. More and more investors are using these reports to make informed decisions. But what exactly do these reports contain? Let's find out.

1) Transparency and Accountability

ESG reports are like a window into a company's soul. They provide transparency and accountability, allowing stakeholders to see what's really going on behind the scenes.

2) Investment Decisions and Stakeholder Trust

Investors love ESG reports. Why? Because they help identify companies that align with their values and may offer sustainable long-term returns. It's like having a crystal ball that predicts a company's future performance.

3) Reputation and Brand Image

A good ESG report can do wonders for a company's reputation. It's a way for companies to show they care about more than just profits. And in today's world, that's a big deal.

ESG, CSR, and sustainability: what’s the difference?

Ever confused ESG with sustainability? You're not alone. While both focus on a company's impact beyond financial performance, sustainability is a broader concept, like an umbrella under which ESG falls.

And then there's CSR (or Corporate Social Responsibility). While both ESG and CSR aim to evaluate a company's ethical impact, ESG is more focused on measurable and material aspects. Think of CSR as the heart, and ESG as the brain.

What is an ESG score?

Let's talk numbers. What is an ESG score and who assigns it? An ESG score is like a company's GPA for sustainability. It's a quantifiable measure of a company's ESG performance, used by investors to compare companies based on their ESG practices.

Who assigns ESG scores and how?

Just like your teachers assigned your grades, ESG scores are typically assigned by specialized rating agencies. They use a variety of data sources to evaluate a company's ESG performance.

Navigating ESG reporting standards

With so many different ESG reporting standards out there, how do you know which one to follow?

Let's explore some of the most popular ESG standards:

  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): Think of GRI as the gold standard for ESG reporting. It provides a comprehensive set of indicators covering a company's economic, environmental, and social impacts.

  • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB): SASB takes a slightly different approach, focusing on industry-specific standards that help businesses identify and manage financial material sustainability issues.

  • Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): TCFD is all about climate. It provides a framework for companies to disclose their climate-related risks and opportunities in their financial filings.-

The 2 golden rules for effective ESG reporting

So, you're ready to create your own ESG report. But where do you start? Here are some best practices to guide you.

  1. Embracing Transparency: Transparency is key in ESG reporting. It's like opening your doors and windows and letting the world see what's inside. The more transparent you are, the more trust you build.

  2. Ensuring Consistency: Consistency is just as important. It's like following a recipe - you need to use the same ingredients in the same quantities every time to get the same result

How to prepare an ESG report?

Ready to roll up your sleeves and start preparing your ESG report? Here's a step-by-step guide to help you.

1. Data Collection: First things first, gather your data. It's like assembling all your ingredients before you start cooking.

2. Data Analysis: Next, analyze your data. This is where you mix all your ingredients together and start to see the final product take shape.

3. Report writing: Though the word “report” is in the name, business reports should not report, but rather tell a story. They should be written as a narrative rather than a logical argument or a set of facts.

4. Report design: Don’t mistake pretty design for good design. It’s not enough that people look at your report and say “That’s nice”, people need to enjoy the reading too.

This is where interactive content experience changes the game in terms of how your report is received.

Interactive reports jack up engagement and make your report instantly more memorable and shareworthy.

Take a look at the difference between static and interactive reports and tell me which your audience would rather engage with.

Static PDF or PPT
Interactive Storydoc

5. Reporting and Presentation: Finally, present your findings. This is the icing on the cake, where you show off your hard work and let the world see your masterpiece.

What are the 2 main challenges in ESG reporting?

Creating an ESG report is not without its challenges. Let's look at some of the most common ones.

  1. Data Availability and Quality: Data can be a challenge. It's like trying to bake a cake without a recipe - you need the right information to get yummy insights worth sharing.

  2. Standardization issues: Standardization is another hurdle. With so many different reporting frameworks, it can be like trying to compare apples and oranges.

How to create a high-engagement ESG report from templates

Why work hard when we already did the heavy lifting for you? Our interactive report templates were built based on what we’ve seen work for our clients time after time to generate engagement and interest.

The template’s report design has been tested for all devices and screen sizes so they can be read with ease anywhere at any time.

Grab one!

Dominika Krukowska

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

Grab a report template

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