Because you can’t manage what you don’t measure
To help you manage your business effectively and improve your efforts to become a more sustainable organization, Sustainable Hamilton members are encouraged to measure and report on their sustainability progress. For this purpose, Sustainable Hamilton, in collaboration with our partners, has initiated the Sustainable Hamilton Reporting Initiative.
Why measuring and reporting is good for your business:
- Save money – Reporting will reveal what you’re currently spending on things like energy, water, supplies, waste disposal etc. and demonstrate how you can save money.
- Spark innovation – Measuring and reporting your environmental and social impacts provides a different perspective on your operations. This often illuminates ideas for innovative new processes and products that contribute to revenue growth as well as cost savings.
- Improve customer/supplier relationships – Many manufacturers, retailers and others are increasing their sustainability expectations of their suppliers. Reporting will help you meet their guidelines and help ensure your position as a “preferred supplier”.
- Improve your brand perception – By proactively recognizing, managing and reporting your environmental and social impacts, you will enjoy a more favourable brand reputation.
- Provide long-term community wide and company benefits
- More satisfied employees, improved job retention and the ability to attract top-quality people
- Reduced environmental impacts
- Improved health outcomes
- A more resilient, successful city economy
The reporting framework provides a holistic view of your sustainability progress in terms of your organization’s environmental impacts, social performance and key economic contributions to the community. However, the process of collecting, evaluating and tracking the data as well as communicating results is where the greater benefits lie. This information will serve as a lens to identify opportunities for improvement as per the old phrase “what gets measured gets managed.”
What is the Sustainable Hamilton Reporting Initiative?
Sustainable Hamilton, in collaboration with local government, business and other NGOs has prepared a reporting framework based on the internationally-recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This sustainability reporting framework has been reviewed and vetted by a cross-sector team of businesses and other organizations to ensure it will provide relevant, helpful information to reporting organizations as well as help drive greater sustainability of our community overall. It has also been designed to be practical, meaningful and cost-effective and provide metrics for all organizations, from small companies and NGOs to large institutions and corporations.
Sustainable Hamilton is currently seeking businesses, institutions and non-profit organizations of all sizes and sectors to become part of our core group of “Sustainable Hamilton Reporting Partners” or “Observing Partners” to undertake reporting for their organization. Observing Partners are organizations who are committed to reporting but will take some time to learn more about the process, to assemble their baseline data and determine the most suitable level of reporting to meet their stakeholder needs. Reporting Partners will complete these processes and actually submit a report on their progress over their 2012-13 fiscal year to be included in the 2013 Sustainable Hamilton Business Report. THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR COMPANIES WISHING TO BE INCLUDED IN THE 2012-13 REPORT WAS FEBRUARY 28, 2013. However, we are always accepting new partners. For more information on becoming involved, please click here or contact us.
Sustainable Hamilton Reporting Partners will receive on-going support in the form of technical workshops focused on specific aspects of the reporting framework and creating a sustainability strategy. Topics include GHG emissions estimates, energy measurement and tracking, creating greater employee engagement, fostering successful collaborations, and more. Partners will also be provided with a Reporting Toolkit including a reporting template for recording data, reference materials, case studies — and more.
Reporting results from the previous 12 months will be submitted to Sustainable Hamilton by each organization at the end of their fiscal year. An independent panel of sustainability experts will review the results and recommendations will be put forward for recognition at the annual Sustainable Hamilton Evening of Recognition (June 2013), on the Sustainable Hamilton website and through editorial opportunities with local and regional media outlets. Sustainable Hamilton Reporting Partners who participate in the Sustainable Hamilton Reporting Initiative will receive permission to display a special logo signifying their commitment to sustainability reporting on their website and in other promotional materials. A summary of results will be produced annually as the Sustainable Hamilton Business Report.
With a large number of companies preparing sustainability reports, we will be sending a powerful signal to the world about Hamilton’s business-sector commitment to sustainable development. This will lead to a strong brand image for this city and contribute to a higher level of sustainable prosperity.
What will it cost?
The costs of reporting are much less than you might expect as many of the sustainability indicators are already being measured as part of government and industry regulatory requirements. Sustainable Hamilton’s fees are based on the nature and size of your organization. Please click here or contact us for more information.
Sustainable Hamilton will provide the tools and education to make reporting as easy and cost-effective as possible.
How do I get my business involved?
By becoming a Sustainable Hamilton Reporting Partner you sign up to be a part of the Hamilton Business Sustainability Report. Contact us for more information.