To produce a regular sustainability report, organizations set up a reporting cycle – a program of data collection, communication, and responses. This means that their sustainability performance is monitored on an ongoing basis.
Data can be provided regularly to senior decision makers to shape the organization's strategy and policies, and improve performance.
Ecology made progress over the last two years building our reporting process, training and involving key Ecology staff, and integrating stakeholder views into the design of the report. A copy of this report in Adobe PDF is available at this address.
All eleven Ecology programs were involved in the development process and contributed to the report.
- Stakeholder input was provided by staff proxies but came from workshops designed to extract current data (2013) from program representatives, based on recent stakeholder input at involvement forums.
- We identified Ecology’s material aspects, impacts, and indicators weighing both stakeholder and program views.
- We followed GRI’s new G4 "Process for Defining Report Content" to determine the design of the report considering materiality, boundary, and scope. These determinations represent a major area of improvement from our first report.
- We added seven new performance indicators, strengthening our reporting around economic and social impacts. The 14 indicators from the first report were reaffirmed. Most of Ecology’s biggest sustainability impacts relate to environmental topics because we are an environmental management agency.
- New technology has been applied to conserve water at Ecology. Results over the last two years indicate that we saved over 45,000 cubic meters of water during the period. See EN8 Water Use.
- To improve data quality, Ecology needs to invest more in metrics infrastructure in coordination with the Department of Enterprise Services (DES).
- Staffing and staff responsibilities for the GRI reporting effort need to be better defined for report designers and content contributors and address future staff turnover.
- Improved financial support for reporting work needs to be provided.
- Basic Sustainability and GRI Guidelines training needs to be provided for staff who are developing the reports.
Sustainability reporting has many benefits for organizations but the main reason for investing in it is to ensure the long-term survival of humanity and the other species living on planet Earth.