The Top Ten Trends in CSR Reporting in 2019

Oct 23, 2019 2:20 PM ET
Blog

CSR reporting reached an all-time high this year with 86 percent of companies in the S&P 500 publishing reports. It’s no surprise that with reporting becoming more mainstream, companies are increasingly looking for ways to break through the noise and standout. Here are the top ten trends we’re seeing this reporting season:

Expanding beyond the traditional PDF: To reach new audiences and communicate Purpose more authentically, companies are expanding beyond the typical lengthy PDF report and are creating more compelling content. Patagonia features its CSR efforts on its website and also publishes a coffee table style book that customers, employees and stakeholders can view on its website or purchase in stores.

Creating dynamic digital experiences: Going digital is another key trend we’ve seen over the past few years to help bring CSR efforts and programs to life. UPS created an interactive web experience to enable stakeholders to explore and learn about their CSR strategy through interactive tiles and videos.

Setting ambitious commitments that align to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Taking a cue from CSR pioneers like Unilever, more companies are moving beyond traditional performance targets and are implementing enterprise-wide commitments that ladder back to the SDGs and require bold action like halving their environmental impacts.

Fostering stakeholder dialogue: With an increased emphasis on transparency, companies are beginning to disclose more around not only what types of stakeholders they’re engaging with but also more details regarding the dialogue. In its latest CSR report, Target* uses a visual wheel to demonstrate stakeholder groups the company engaged with as well as the key issues raised.

Evolving the CSR strategy: As a company’s business changes, so should its CSR strategy. Longtime leader in Purpose, CVS Health* evolved its CSR strategy this year following its acquisition of Aetna. The company's new platform is designed to be more inclusive of its commitment to addressing the complexities of today's health care system and the role it plays in addressing public health challenges.

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