Corporate reporting season rolls on, and with it comes the last minute bits and pieces of wrapping up disclosures before the June /July deadlines. Antea Group’s Corporate Reporting and Disclosure team knows all about it-- we are currently in the thick of helping our clients cross t’s, dot i’s, crunch numbers, and provide the final touches before clicking “Submit” this year.
Building upon our earlier “CDP Stress Test” blog, the Dream Team would like to share some practical advice from the trenches.
Grab yourself a cup of coffee (or as our team likes to say a “sanity latte”) and take a minute to drink up our team’s insights as you move towards the proverbial finish line, no matter which stage of the reporting process has you in its thrall:
“First and foremost – BREATHE,” says Meaghan McNaney, Antea Group Sustainability Analyst. Sure, corporate reporting season can be overwhelming, but try to view the process for what it is, an opportunity to share your company’s sustainability story with external stakeholders--don’t get lost in the minutia. And rest assured, you’re not alone, and there are many resources out there who can help you to the finish line. For example, CDP offers training sessions, guidance documents, and expert support through the CDP website.
Wanting Some Peace of Mind:
It never hurts to get a second opinion. Whether it’s a second set of eyes from a colleague, or a third-party review from a Dream Team like ours to ensure consistency in message and disclosure completion, take the time to step back and review before you finalize.
“It can be tricky to determine how narrative makes a response or publication shine” says Sustainability Leader Laura Nelson, “but one way to vet your messaging is through a peer benchmarking.”
Many of our clients benchmark their disclosure responses and messaging with those of their peers and competitors, to get a general understanding of commonalities in themes and to learn more about best practices in risk management, target setting, and strategy. Benchmarking can be done on a full disclosure or an individual question depending upon the peace of mind you desire.
Making Progress, but Not Confident on How We’re Going to be Scored:
The data collection process can certainly feel endless at times, and after all of the hard work, there still may be a feeling of uncertainty regarding how your story will be interpreted when all is said and done.
“Waiting for your score can be the hardest part of responding to a CDP request,” says Project Manager Owen McKenna, “but you can kick all of the uncertainty and response second-guessing to the curb by bringing in an expert to provide a content review and scoring estimate, and add confidence to your submittal!”
Sustainability Analyst Carolyn Clemmens adds, “If you think you’re missing something big, an unbiased third party review can provide the ‘gut check’ to let you know for sure.”
Feeling Prepared, it’s Smooth Sailing from Here:
Our data guru, Project Manager Ron Feingold, says it best: “Once you’ve mastered the skills in responding to disclosures like CDP, start thinking about the next level of your company’s strategy--sustainability is fluid, and there are always ways that you can progress your program.”
Consider a cool-down debriefing session once you’ve wrapped up this year’s reporting cycle, to identify opportunities for process improvements, new strategies, and aspirations for future reporting (for example, considering science-based targets or Scope 3 reporting).
Whatever your level, if you need some support, remember that the Antea Group sustainability team has the tools and expertise to help you focus on optimizing your process and your message to stakeholders. We encourage you to reach out if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you through this process – whether it’s reaching the finish line this year, or getting a head start on next year. In the meantime, good luck in the final stretch, and cheers to you for taking the time to share your sustainability story with your stakeholders!
Need immediate support with your reporting and disclosures, or want a quick-turn final review and scoring estimate? We can help! It’s a low-cost, low-risk way to get to know us, and maybe to relieve a little bit of your seasonal stress. Contact us today!
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