In recent times sustainable development has been an important topic within the Middle East region, specifically in Qatar. Its enviable economic position and determination to achieve sustainable development in all of its areas are well-known. This is evident from Vision 2030 of Qatar. Vision 2030, which included the basic axes of growth.
Sustainable development refers to fulfilling the demands of the present without threatening future generations and their capacity to meet their requirements.
Sustainable development departments within organizations focus on managing social, economic, and environmental performance to understand risks and opportunities that can impact companies’ achievement of their goals through improving performance and competitiveness. This is why it’s an essential aspect for companies and is a method to cut costs and offer alternatives, such as innovativeness, competitiveness, and the activities of the company, increasing the effectiveness of its operational performance and ensuring the satisfaction of employees as well as enhancing the company’s reputation and image.
Sustainability reports, both in terms of preparation and understanding, are not simple to prepare. Still, they are rather difficult since they’re considered an adventure in a world of issues that can lead to transformation. No company can provide all the information about what is required in the report at any time. We find a lot of them. The report is based on a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) model, which was developed especially for the report because it acknowledges the dangers and fully discloses the issues facing the Organization and the steps that must be taken to address them. This is the most effective method of managing crisis and risk. Building brand reputation and value and establishing a good relationship with the local and state governments and long-term sustainability of the connection between the business and the community, and ensuring sustainability implementation for businesses. The importance of the sustainability report is evident.
Companies that wish to create sustainability reports must adhere to five fundamental principles. Legal compliance implies that the business respects all applicable laws and regulations that are written and published. In addition, respect for international organizations through its recognition and adherence to international agreements, covenants, and decisions when drafting its policy to achieve sustainability. Additionally, ensuring the interests of all parties by acknowledging a variety of interests among the parties involved, regardless of whether it is related to products or activities that could be detrimental to the parties affected. Transparency is one of the principles that guide the Organization’s transparent and precise public disclosure of its policies and decisions, actions, and possible impacts on society and the environment. It also makes information available to anyone likely to be affected significantly by the company. The Organization also has policies and procedures following the rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Organizations aim to limit risk and ensure the sustainability of their businesses shortly. This is accomplished by creating reports that focus on ensuring the longevity of these companies. These reports are referred to as sustainability reports and are focused on evaluating the performance of an organization concerning the objectives of sustainable development. These reports provide the achievements of all departments and sections of the business transparently and clearly, which includes the entire range of initiatives and contributions to the social, environmental, and governance areas and their positive or negative aspects. The report can be special or included in each year’s financial reports.
They aid in educating companies about various important factors, one of which is knowledge of the present situation or the level of performance, and assessing the impact and vulnerability of an organization, as well as comparing performance against other organizations. In addition, they compare the prior reports annually as well as being able to compare the results of the Organization against the relevant standards and also providing an explanation of any significant differences between the various timespans of the report regarding the scope, limitations, or duration of the report or the data that is contained within the document.
We’ve observed that reports that are based on the GRI model will always result in internal changes and recognition from the outside. In terms of internal changes, we refer to the evolution of the vision strategy, mission, and vision. Additionally, it helps to develop the administration system within the company as well as improve operational processes as well as a role in the setting of strategic goals. It also helps identify areas that cause anger, discover opportunities to improve, identify strengths, and increase the likelihood of attracting the skills of new employees while managing existing ones. A well-functioning communication system within a company between its divisions and departments stimulates creativity and ingenuity among employees. It increases awareness among the higher management of the Organization, which gives it a competitive edge, plays a leading lead role in it, and attracts investors and donors. In terms of external recognition, it’s to boost the company’s reputation and capacity to compete internationally and achieve transparency and constructive dialog with stakeholders to demonstrate that the Organization is committed to sustainable development and provide a basis for measuring, comparison, and benchmarking. The main point about GRI is that GRI method is it’s an effective method to boost returns and decrease risk.
To prepare an annual sustainability report, the business must go through several steps to publish its performance according to social, environmental, and governance requirements. This is accomplished through the day-to-day activities that it performs, along with the idea of sustainability, which is achieved by integrating these standards into its strategy, institutional philosophy, and operational procedures since it helps improve the instruments for measuring and monitoring the sustainability integration within the everyday work of the Organization and also by forming a competent team of experts who are capable of gathering relevant information from all departments and working together to implement the sustainability strategy and also by communicating with the stakeholders and engaging them in achieving the objectives the company is seeking according to their needs and responding the needs of stakeholders. It is also about highlighting the fundamental and significant aspects the company believes should be made public and incorporating environmental, economic, and social aspects, such as energy performance, economic performance, and human rights. The report must contain the most significant aspects related to sustainability. It is built on understanding the requirements and priorities of concerned authorities. This means that it has to be accurate, efficient, and efficient. The performance indicators criteria should also be established to assess these elements. The indicators are diverse and include environmental, such as consumption of water and energy, as well as other social ones, like the ratio of the wage for female and male employees, and economic ones, like the ones related to suppliers and governance standards.
After understanding the basic principles and procedures for creating an environmental report, we need to be aware of the report’s contents. And by content, we refer to the material that is included in the report following the guidelines for making the sustainability report released through the Global Sustainability Reporting Initiative (GRI) and is the reference for the preparation of sustainability reports for businesses of all types. The report has eight sections. That is listed according to the following:
Organizations need to be aware of and address various problems to overcome them to get the most exact results for the sustainability report. The most significant of these are:
In the process of writing the report, it has to be completed in several steps that need to be considered. Each stage has the following points. The next step is:
1. The initial step of preparation. This involves organizing the process of creating the report. This is done by creating an overall idea of the final format of the report. It also includes establishing an action plan and timetable, defining responsibilities, and forming a team to present a sustainability report. Organizing the major steps of the report’s preparation. This is followed by the first meeting, where the group meets with senior management and other people involved externally and internally by establishing a clearly defined agenda and setting out a list of issues to be discussed and the negative impact of the daily routine, and agreeing on the steps to prepare the report, which too is included along with the schedule and the proper budget to complete the report. The next step is reviewing the outcomes of the activities of the Organization and identifying economic and environmental issues by studying the results of everyday activities and the involvement of the participants to pinpoint the most important issues to be addressed within the document.
2. Second step: communication This is the phase where stakeholders are identified by consulting them and engaging them by using efficient and appropriate ways to engage and communicate with the stakeholders and identifying the major issues (topics with a high significance) to be covered in the reports.
3. The third step is called Definition. During this stage, the subjects to be covered within the document are determined. The final decision is taken on the report’s content, and the choice is made regarding factors that the Organization cannot report on because they are unavailable and based on the reason behind their inaccessibility or that it is prohibited by local law or is considered confidential. Then, the Organization will review its internal policies and systems and make any necessary changes to ensure that it can supply the necessary information. Discussions are held, and the setting of goals for performance are set.
4 The fourth step is monitoring – looking at processes and monitoring activities and ensuring data accuracy through applying quality principles (Quality Management).
5. The fifth step is writing the report (examining and reporting, then the report). At this point, the introduction will be composed that highlight the importance of sustainability reporting as well as the importance of the report for the company, and choosing the most effective method to present the report in paper or digital, or also how to share it with those who are involved and making it available to all the stakeholders. The final version of the report is written in the native language of the Organization and doesn’t hinder it from being translated into any other third languages.
When you have completed the writing of the document, its validity must be verified, and this is accomplished by the use of a set of standards that must be included in the report and by the following guidelines:
1 Balance This signifies that the report reflects the good and bad aspects of the company’s performance, allowing for a clear evaluation of overall results.
2. Comparison: It allows users to look over the information in the report and compare it against other organizations.
3. Accuracy: information in the report must be precise under quality standards for stakeholders to evaluate the company’s effectiveness.
4. Timing: making the information available to all stakeholders at the right time to allow them to make informed decisions.
5- Clarity: the information is accessible easily, understood, and simple to be accessed by all stakeholders.
6Reliability: Disclosure of the data and the processes employed within the document in a manner that allows them to be susceptible to scrutiny and measurement.
I would like to see awareness spread across organizations of the importance of sustainability and the benefits it brings to stakeholders and the organizations they work with. I also hope companies are encouraged to release periodic sustainability reports that explain their practices and performance with environmental, economic, and social standards. The existence of organizations like Waey, the environmental consultancy in Qatar, will provide a guideline on the actions taken when preparing reports on sustainability under GRI standards to improve production efficiency and participation in integrating its strategies into the objectives of Vision 2030 of Qatar. Vision 2030, in terms of playing a role in the industry as one of the development pivots.[Sassy_Social_Share]