Well, if it’s buried in a company’s annual report with the income statements, cash flows, balance sheets and self-congratulatory chairman's letter, and illustrated with those awful handshake and ribbon-cutting photos, the short answer is: no one.
Yes, annual reports are long, boring and badly illustrated. They also arrive too late to have any relevance, because if a company closes its books at the end of December, nobody’s likely to see it until mid-April.
Those four-color glossy wonders are also expensive to to produce and ship, and some money can be saved by creating a PDF version and emailing it, or making it available on the company website. How many people read that? You know the short answer. Standalone CSR reports fare a little better, particularly as companies are incorporating social media into their marketing plans.
Sustainability reporting and online publication do make a great marriage. The information is more accessible, the audience is significantly increased, transparency and trust are improved, and meaningful stakeholder engagement begins – but like all marriages, the two halves must work together or all the good things don’t happen.
Organizations are finding that it's not easy to ‘go green’ and requires a lot more than talking the talk. Strategies have to be developed, plans implemented, processes changed, and the corporate culture refreshed. The good news is that, once you’ve done that, GoGreen Portals has made it easy to get the word out.
It’s About Transparency
Here at GoGreen Portals, we view CSR not simply as a communication tool to inform stakeholders about what’s happening at the firm, but as an engaging, inspiring and interactive way to converse with them with impactful content and open access. It is no longer possible for a company to hide its CSR on an obscure page of the corporate website: it will be found and conversations will sprout up on the web, customers, employees and every other stakeholder with an internet connection will find it, take screenshots, share comments in their social media, and speak their mind everywhere they can. Isn’t it better to demonstrate transparency, build trust, and let the world engage with your CSR, help them share their opinions and get it all out there on Facebook and Twitter? As John Friedman of Sodexo famously tweeted, “If you worry about what your employees will say about your company on social media, your problem is not social media.”