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Feb 16 2023

What is Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) and why does it matter?

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What is Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) and why does it matter?

A business responsibility and sustainability report is a document that outlines a company's efforts to be socially and environmentally responsible, as well as its commitment to sustainability. It is also known as a Sustainability Report. Business responsibility and sustainability reports are usually published annually and made available to the public. They may be required by law or industry regulations, or they may be voluntary. Companies may use them to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility and to provide transparency about their operations and impacts.

Business responsibility and sustainability reports typically cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Environmental performance: Companies may report on their greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy use, waste reduction efforts, and other environmental impacts.
  • Social performance: Companies may report on their efforts to support their employees, communities, and other stakeholders. This may include information on diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, and community involvement.
  • Governance: Companies may report on their governance practices, including board diversity, executive compensation, and ethical leadership.
  • Products and services: Companies may report on the sustainability of their products and services, including their environmental impacts and efforts to reduce waste and pollution.

Okay, great! But what’s in it for me?

With nations coming together to make a positive environmental impact in terms of their actions and process, carbon accounting and BRSR reports become all the more important for organizations.

There are several reasons why companies may choose to invest in business responsibility and sustainability reports:

  1. Legal and regulatory requirements: Many countries have laws and regulations that require companies to disclose their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. These requirements may vary depending on the sector in which the company operates and the size of the company.
  2. Stakeholder expectations: Investors, customers, employees, and other stakeholders increasingly expect companies to be responsible and sustainable in their operations and supply chains. Reports can help companies demonstrate their commitment to these values and provide transparency about their performance.
  3. Reputation and brand value: Companies that are perceived as responsible and sustainable may benefit from a positive reputation and increased brand value. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and business opportunities.
  4. Risk management: Companies that proactively manage their environmental and social impacts may be better positioned to mitigate potential risks to their business, such as regulatory fines, reputational damage, or supply chain disruptions.

Investing in business responsibility and sustainability reports can help companies demonstrate their commitment to responsible and sustainable practices, meet legal and regulatory requirements, and manage risks to their business.

“This supersedes political parties, race, creed, religion, it doesn’t matter. If we do not solve the environment, we’re all damned.” — Elon Musk

So how does one get started their BRSR journey?

Starting a Business Responsibility and Sustainability (BRS) Report journey can be a challenging but rewarding process for any business. It involves understanding the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the company's operations and finding ways to mitigate any negative impacts and enhance positive ones.

Here are some steps to get started on your BRS Report journey:

  1. Determine your purpose: Why do you want to create a BRS Report? Is it to meet regulatory requirements, enhance your reputation, or improve your operations? Having a clear purpose will help guide your efforts and ensure that your BRS Report is aligned with your business goals.
  2. Identify your stakeholders: Who is interested in your BRS Report? This might include customers, investors, employees, regulators, and the community. Understanding the concerns and expectations of your stakeholders will help you determine what to include in your report.
  3. Gather data: To create an accurate and comprehensive BRS Report, you'll need to gather data on your company's social, environmental, and economic impacts. This might include data on greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction, employee engagement, and more. You may need to work with various departments within your company to collect this data.
  4. Develop a reporting framework: There are several frameworks and standards that companies can use to guide the creation of their BRS Reports. Some popular options include the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the Integrated Reporting Framework. Choose the framework that best fits your business and its stakeholders.
  5. Write your report: Once you have gathered all of your data and chosen a reporting framework, it's time to write your BRS Report. Be sure to include information on your company's purpose, stakeholders, governance, and material issues. Use clear, concise language and include any relevant data or metrics to support your claims.
  6. Communicate and engage: Once your BRS Report is complete, it's important to share it with your stakeholders and seek feedback. This might include hosting webinars or events, providing copies of the report to investors and customers, or engaging in dialogue with stakeholders through social media or other channels.

By following these steps, you can get started on your BRS Report journey and begin to better understand and address the social, environmental, and economic impacts of your business.

Business responsibility and sustainability are essential for the long-term success of any company. By prioritizing these issues, businesses can not only improve their reputation and attract customers, but also make a positive impact on society and the environment. It is important for businesses to be transparent and accountable through the production of sustainability reports, but it is equally important to follow through on their commitments and continuously strive to improve their sustainability efforts.

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