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Australian Organizations’ Adoption of Sustainability Reporting Essay

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Updated: Mar 28th, 2019

In sustainability development, sustainable reporting is defined as the methodology of assessing, revealing and being responsible to external and internal stakeholders for the performance of the company. This performance is aimed in achieving the target of sustainable development. On that aspect, there are different requirements necessary for global sustainability.

These include the committed by individuals in their various businesses supported by other crucial players such as the government, communities and markets among others. Therefore, sustainability reporting when viewed from the perspective of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) lays emphasis on enterprise reporting as a way of enhancing sustainability.

On that account, this essay aims at tackling the key issues that pertains to various organizations that have adopted sustainability reporting in Australia in this 21st century (BosBrouwers 2010, p. 424). Alternatively, the paper evaluates the different reasons held by various writers in trying to demystify reasons for adopting sustainability reporting.

Furthermore, the discussion delves into the approaches taken by various organizations in Australia in planning and implementing sustainability reporting. On that line, the essay has selected tow not-for-profit organizations within Australia that have embraced this technique of sustainable development in enriching both its stakeholders and the community at large.

These two organizations include the Australian Council of Social Service (ACSS) and Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA) which both play critical roles in conservation of environments and taking part in philanthropic activities within the community.

Additionally, the discussion also dwells on comparison and contrasts between the aforementioned companies in terms their respective approaches of sustainability reporting (ProcessMAP Corporation 2011, p.2).

This comparison and contrast stresses on the issues of collecting data and disseminating report information to their individual recipients. Furthermore, sustainability reporting can takes various steps such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Natural Step or even the triple bottom line in ensuring effective reporting of its information.

In sustainability reporting, different writers have different versions of adopting sustainability reporting. For example, according to Barnett White, adoption of sustainability reporting will facilitate price performance of commodities meant to last long. Additionally, the author adds, such reporting assists in the better assessment that deals with organizations and their time.

Similarly, White stresses that the essence of sustainability reporting will work as an operational strategy for a majority of companies. Alternatively, Peter Newton maintains that adopting sustainability reporting deters the government through its public officers do not extend harm to various sectors of the society (Ryder System, Inc. 2012).

These include the social, economic and environmental sectors of a state, region or country it is mandated to rule even after vacating office. Furthermore, Newton says, it permits a holistic perspective of the realization of management issues and incorporation of sustainable development. On the other hand, according to Goodman and Michelson, adopting sustainability reporting assists an organization in establishing its repute and risk management.

Furthermore, the writers continue, reporting on sustainability assists a company in attaining, restoring and repairing its legitimacy. On that aspect, the reporting affects the public admiration of the organization in terms of its management techniques, decisions and its major stakeholders in business.

There are different approaches that organizations apply in planning and implementing sustainability reporting. For instance, certain companies take to reducing waste in order to save costs. Similarly, other organizations adopt a legal compliance approach whereby it guards against legal expenses and fines incase environmental destruction is prevented.

Another suitable approach is evaluation of general sustainability frameworks and identifying the quality approach that suits your company. On that account, it is imperative to deal only with the frameworks that work best for your organization. For example, an organization can either use triple bottom line, the Global Reporting Initiative or the Natural Step.

In addition, the organization can decide to assess both its opportunities and threats and refining its purpose for better sustainability. Therefore, it is critical to link sustainability to the entire strategy of planning and implementation to assist in setting up of priorities (Davidson & Wilson 2011, p. 52).

Similarly, adopting the approach of impact of evaluation on a high-level basis for the company is crucial in selecting areas of priority when planning and implementing sustainability reporting. On that note, the procedure can be conducted at work-group and departmental stages when required in the present or the future years.

Additionally, other companies apply the strategy of effective communication to its various stakeholders with the intention of receiving a workable feedback in its planning and implementation in sustainable reporting.

In terms of adopting sustainability reporting, most Australian companies have taken different approaches in assisting its various companies. These companies or organizations are mostly fond in the construction industries, public transport sectors and the not-for-profit community services sectors among others.

Therefore, in this case, we are going to pick only two companies drawn from the sector of not-for-profit organizations. For example, the Australian Council of Social Service convenes yearly conferences addressing sustainable development. Similarly, it is engaged in Mining Certification Evaluation Project (2006) that deals with mining corporations and an initiative pertaining to the protection of wild animals through its organization, the WWF.

Another not-for Profit Company is Australian Reward Investment Alliance which has adopted its sustainability reporting through the concepts of social responsibility through volunteering activities. Furthermore, the organization adopts its sustainable reporting by creating more jobs and getting involved in charity work around the regions of Australia.

Apart from playing a critical role in creation of jobs and doing charity work, this organization also caters for child welfare and services through provision of funds and services. The not-for-profit organization is also involved in the preservation of environment through beautification and protection of wildlife.

Therefore, when it comes to approaches of sustainability reporting in terms of collecting data and presenting report information, the two companies have both similarities and differences. For instance, in the aspect of sustainability reporting through report presentation, they both use public media and in its various briefings with the intention of getting a feedback. In addition, they both take part in activities that are of benefit to the community.

This include the conservation of the environment through preservation of natural resources, participating in philanthropic activities such as offering of grants, volunteerism in charity roles and raising funds to support different projects. In contrast, there are also differences between these organizations when it comes to their respective ideals and corporate missions (Hussy, Kirsop & Meissen 2001, p. 143).

For example, the ACSS as a not-for-profit company disseminates its information on a regular basis unlike ARIA that is cautious with its sustainable reporting for enhancement of sustainable development. Another difference lies in strategies used in sustainable reporting by both entities towards their respective stakeholders.

On that perspective, while ACSS applies primary methods of collecting data such as interviews, tape recording and questionnaires, ARIA employs secondary techniques which include books, journals, periodicals and internet sources.

In summary, we can say in order to acquire sustainable development is different spectrums of life then the sustainable reporting must be of high standards. However, to achieve the high standard, there are requisite observations that should be made to help in the achievement of sustainable reporting.

For instance, various companies engaged in the dissemination of sustainable reporting with the aim of attaining sustainable development need to focus on the various platforms of communicating to its recipients with the aim of reaching their corporate goals and missions (Strong & Hemphill 2008, p. 400). In addition, when gathering data for sustainable reporting in terms of data collection, a variety of methods should be applied. These entail using both primary and secondary techniques in order to collect data from different sources.

On that note, primary techniques include use maps, surveys, and questionnaires among others, while secondary methods include use of books and internet sources. Similarly, sustainable reporting can be enhanced through use of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Natural Step or even the triple bottom line for quality dissemination of information to its individual recipients.

Furthermore, various companies founds in different sectors such as the construction industry, mining sector, public transport sector and not-for-profit organizations should embrace the initiative of participating in activities that promote the well-being of the community (Davidson & Wilson 2011, p. 54).

This is through initiatives such as helping in the preservation and conservation of the environment, taking in charitable activities through volunteerism and donation of funds to child-related projects. Furthermore, their roles should extend to the protection of wildlife and habitat that sustains such game to ensure to a smooth flow of the ecosystem.


BosBrouwers, H 2010, ‘Corporate sustainability and innovation in SMEs: Evidence of themes and activities in practice’, Business Strategy and the Environment, vol. 19, no.7, pp. 417-435.

ProcessMAP Corporation 2011, ‘‘, Business Wire. Web.

Ryder System, Inc. 2012, ‘‘, Business Wire. Web.

Davidson, K & Wilson, L 2011, ‘Australia’s progress undefined: A critical review of measures of Australia’s progress (MAP)’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 47-57.

Hussy, D, Kirsop, P & Meissen, R 2001, ‘Global reporting initiative guidelines: An evaluation of sustainable development metrics for industry’, Environmental quality management, vol.11, no.1, pp. 1-20.

Mining Certification Evaluation Project 2006, Project Overview. Web.

Strong, W & Hemphill, L 2008, Sustainable development policy and practice, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.

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