1 January 2012


Paul Hohnen

Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources


  • The concept of sustainability reporting (SR) is now almost twenty years old. In the run-up to the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, the time has come to review its objectives and achievements, and to decide whether action is needed to improve its effectiveness and uptake.
  • The underlying proposition of SR is that reporting on economic, social and environmental performance is vital if governments, business and the wider community are to understand and improve their contribution to a Green Economy and sustainable development.
  • However, SR faces a number of serious challenges. It is still not a common practice among all companies, public agencies and civil society bodies. There are also questions about the accuracy and completeness of data reported, and its relevance to financial performance.
  • Against this background, the question needs to be asked whether further progress towards a Green Economy and sustainable development can be made without improving both the quantity and quality of sustainability reporting. If not, how should this be done?