Sustainability, social and integrated reporting: what are they?

    Sustainability, social and integrated reporting: what are they?

    Corporate reporting is constantly evolving. Learn about the importance of transparency and the differences between social reporting, sustainability reporting and integrated reporting. Download 3Bee's guide and learn more about the topic to improve your business practices.

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    14/07/2023Of Elena Fraccaro
    14/07/2023Of Elena Fraccaro

    The new requirements of corporate reporting

    The objective of social reporting is to account for the non-financial impacts of the company towards all its stakeholders. In recent times, corporate reporting and its system are undergoing a major change: the information needed to communicate externally is increasingly complex and articulated. This is due to a number of reasons, including growing competition, increased consumer awareness of social, ethical and environmental issues and more. Within this unstable and ever-changing context, the concept of value for companies is changing, expanding and going beyond the economic-financial sphere. Consequently, reporting is also adapting to the new information needs, especially externally.

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    The importance of transparency in reporting

    With this in mind, the requirement of mandatory information is increasing: the reports required are more and more, both in compliance with civil law and because new laws and special regulations have imposed the addition of esg-balance-sheet-how-to-measure-environmental-impact" target="_blank">non-monetary indicators to financial ones. Transparency therefore plays a key role in reporting, as it is important for companies to effectively communicate their identity and value to stakeholders. The ultimate goal is to improve performance, credibility and consequently trust by external stakeholders. And this is where sustainability reporting comes in, allowing companies to broaden their range of information. Often the terms 'social balance sheet', 'sustainability balance sheet' and 'integrated balance sheet' are considered synonymous, but this is actually incorrect. Let us look together at the differences between these documents.

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    The Social Report

    One of the most widely used tools for social reporting is the Social Balance Sheet: a document autonomous and separate from ordinary accounting that through a series of qualitative and quantitative indicators documents the social performance of a company, in particular the strategies and policies adopted. It is a complementary document to the annual financial statements, which often clarifies the meaning of some items of the same and is addressed to the stakeholders as the reference subjects directly or indirectly interested in the company's activity. The framework of reference adopted by the social report is the standard GBS: an operational guide containing useful indications for the drafting of the social report. It is a neutral point of view, which guarantees the completeness and reliability of the information, as well as the transparency of the process adopted to collect and process it.

    bilancio sociale

    The Sustainability Report

    The sustainability report aims to report on the environmental and social impacts of a company, as well as to inform - without going into detail - about the economic dimension. The sustainability report is also based on reference frameworks, such as the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), which provides guidelines for communicating corporate performance in the economic, social and environmental spheres. Compared to the social report, the sustainability report not only analyses and reports on the socially responsible behaviour of a company, but goes into more detail and focuses on the three dimensions of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. These are closely linked, as actions taken by companies in one specific area often have an impact on the others. The sustainability report therefore serves to monitor the actions undertaken by a company and the impacts they have generated on the three dimensions.

    bilancio di sostenibilità

    The Integrated Balance Sheet

    The perspective that drives the preparation of the integrated balance sheet is much broader than the previous two types of balance sheet. Indeed, in this specific case, the objective is to represent the complex process of value creation, both short- and long-term, by a company. The advantage of the integrated balance sheet lies in the more comprehensive satisfaction of the rrequest for information from the market and stakeholders. In fact, it represents a transparent and complete tool of all the data that allow to estimate the real value of the company and its ability to create value in its stakeholders. All the information reported in individual reports, are therefore incorporated within the integrated report and this represents the added value of this type of reporting.

    bilancio integrato

    Sustainability Reporting: 3Bee's Practical Guide

    The social balance sheet, the sustainability balance sheet and the integrated balance sheet are therefore three different ways of reporting, communicating and sharing the commitment, the activities and the impact of a company in the economic, social and environmental spheres. 3Bee fits into this context as a leading Nature Tech company: we are experts in sustainability and support organisations and companies in the realisation of regenerative projects through technology. 3Bee's innovative technologies enable accurate and measurable data, which are valuable for companies in the process of esg-balance-sheet-how-to-measure-environmental-impact" target="_blank">sustainability reporting. With this in mind, we have decided to make the necessary knowledge and resources available to companies - with a free practical guide - to delve deeper into the ever-evolving topic and adopt best practices. Want to know more?

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    14/07/2023Of Elena Fraccaro
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