Making Environmental Reporting Important to All Stakeholders

Why Do We Need MERITAS?

The link between environmental sustainability and business performance is becoming increasingly evident. A large number of companies now produce sustainability reports as common practice. However, due to the diversity in current practices and methodologies used for the measurement and reporting of environmental information, the environmental dimension of sustainability reports vary in quantity and quality.

To address this, UNEP with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment and in collaboration with B.Accountability, the University of Valparaiso (Centro Vincular) and the University of Stellenbosch Business School (Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa), is developing a global study that will assess the environmental dimension of sustainability reports and provide recommendations to Make Environmental Reporting Important to All Stakeholders (MERITAS).

How Will MERITAS Help Businesses And Their Stakeholders?

MERITAS aims to:

  • Make environmental information in sustainability reports as relevant and valuable as financial information for companies and their stakeholders.
  • Help companies understand why they should report, what they should report on, how they should report, and how stakeholders can assist in advancing the quality of reporting. 

UNEP and its partners believe that the findings of this study will help companies improve the quality and relevance of their sustainability reporting.

This work is based on the belief that sustainability reporting can be a powerful decision-making tool for investors, civil society and governments, and can help businesses make important strategic and operational choices.

An initial draft of the report will be available in March 2014. 

About UNEP’s Partners

B.Accountability is an independent consulting practice in Sustainability and Climate Change, working for global companies, primarily in North America and Europe. Services focus on Reporting Solutions and include Sustainability, Natural Capital and Integrated Reporting. B.Accountability is led by Helle Bank Jorgensen, who brings 25 years of experience in advising global companies regarding Corporate Responsibility and Reporting.

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The Vincular Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility Centre (Centro Vincular) was created in 2001 and is based at the School of Engineering of the Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile. The Centre has developed a methodology based on GRI G3, and assists companies from the Latin American region in the preparation, critical analysis and external verification of sustainability reports. Till date, the Centre has helped produce over 140 Sustainability Reports of large companies, SMEs, business associations and organizations.

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The Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa is based at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa. It conducts research and offers educational and development activities to improve the effectiveness of corporate governance in African organizations. Previously, the Centre has collaborated with UNEP, KPMG and the GRI to produce two publications on sustainability reporting standards: Carrots and Sticks: Promoting Transparency and Sustainability (2010) and Carrots and Sticks: Sustainability Reporting Policies Worldwide - Today's Best Practice, Tomorrow's Trends (2013). The Centre has also produced a publication on integrated reporting, Making Investment Grade: the Future of Corporate Reporting (2012), in collaboration with UNEP and Deloitte.

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Read and download: An Introduction to MERITAS