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What are the common challenges of sustainability reporting?

Reporting on sustainability, which is sometimes referred to as “non-financial reporting,” is a crucial part of being socially responsible as a company. 


Many businesses have incorporated it in recent years. When it comes to sustainability reporting, there are common challenges that a company may encounter. Through this blog post, we will aim to highlight these common challenges.  

Defining and measuring sustainability

Many companies need professional assistance to identify what sustainability means for their business and how to measure their progress toward sustainability goals. To overcome this, companies need to set clear, measurable sustainability goals relevant to their business. 


This may involve engaging with stakeholders, conducting a materiality assessment, and using industry benchmarks and standards to help define sustainability goals and metrics. Companies also need to regularly track and report on their sustainability performance using robust data and metrics. 


Audit firms in Malaysia can play a significant role in helping companies identify and measure their sustainability goals, assess their performance, and provide independent assurance on the accuracy and reliability of their non-financial reporting.

sustainability report

Limited access to reliable data

Non-financial reporting requires companies to collect and analyze data on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. However, many companies need the systems and processes to collect, manage, and report on this data effectively. 


Companies must invest in strong data management systems and processes to collect, store and analyze data more effectively to tackle this problem. 


Companies can also collaborate with other stakeholders, like suppliers and customers, to ensure they have access to the right data to correctly report their sustainability performance in the future.


Audit firms in Malaysia can provide valuable insights into data collection and management, help companies identify data gaps and opportunities, and provide assurance on the accuracy and completeness of sustainability data.

Engaging with stakeholders

Stakeholders are extremely important to a company. They can determine the success and failure of a company. So, companies must communicate to their stakeholders about their sustainability plans for the future and how the growth of the company will be shaped according to those plans. 


Companies need to create good plans for communicating with these groups and understand what each group needs and wants. Companies can use social media, yearly reports, and sustainability reports to demonstrate their sustainability work and how they’re doing. 


It’s also important for companies to listen to what these groups say and use their suggestions to get better at sustainability over time.


Integrating sustainability into business strategy

Many companies view sustainability as separate from their core business activities and need help integrating sustainability into their overall business strategy and decision-making processes. 


Companies must ensure that sustainability is fully integrated into their business strategy and decision-making processes to overcome this. To ensure a company is sustainable, it might need to consider sustainability when making important business decisions. 


This could mean designing products, buying things, managing supply chains with sustainability in mind, and ensuring sustainability goals match the company’s overall goals. The top management of the company needs to put all their attention to ensure sustainability is at the forefront. 

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Communicating the value of sustainability

Investors, customers, or anyone else showing interest in the company would want to know the importance of sustainability and its benefits.


To overcome this, companies need to develop clear, compelling messages that communicate the value of sustainability to different stakeholder groups. 


This may involve highlighting the financial benefits of sustainability, such as cost savings from energy efficiency measures or increased revenue from sustainable products and services. 


It may also involve communicating sustainability’s social and environmental benefits, such as improved employee morale, reduced environmental impact, and enhanced reputation and brand value.


All in all

Sustainability reporting may be complex in nature, but it can be extremely useful for companies to generate a positive outlook in the minds of their consumers. 


In today’s day and age, more and more customers are inclined toward companies that keep the planet at the forefront. Your company needs to incorporate sustainable alternatives for the benefit of consumers. 


If companies can overcome the difficulties and report their non-financial sustainability information well, they can show they’re leaders in promoting sustainable business practices. As more and more investors care about sustainability, non-financial reporting is becoming more important. 


By overcoming these challenges, companies can be in a much better place from a long-term success perspective. 


As non-financial reporting becomes more important worldwide, companies need to focus on sustainability reporting and take action to overcome challenges so they can stay ahead of the game.