Enrique Florencio, Head, Knowledge Management Unit and Sustainability Officer of the Association of Development Finance Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), briefed officers and staff of the SERDEF and UP ISSI on the concept and importance of sustainability reporting in a session held last July 2.
Sustainability reporting is described as an emerging concept in organizational reporting that goes beyond documenting accomplishments and progress in terms of an organization’s core operations but rather also takes account of its economic, environmental and social impacts.
Sustainability reporting, according to the speaker, is compelled by the changing role of business and its relationship with society. With business now being seen both as a problem source and solution, there is a growing pressure for greater disclosure and transparency on both financial and non-financial aspects of business performance.
“It is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” Florencio emphasized.
“In some countries like Singapore, sustainability reporting is mandated for both public and private companies. In most countries, like the Philippines, however, it is still voluntary. ADFIAP is promoting it among its members and partners,” he added.
Organizations can improve their sustainability performance by measuring, monitoring and reporting on it, helping them have a positive impact on society, the economy, and a sustainable future. The key drivers for the quality of sustainability reports are the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, which enable all organizations worldwide to assess their sustainability performance and disclose the results in a way similar to financial reporting.
At the end of the briefing, Nida Lavador, SERDEF trustee and Technical Adviser, thanked the speaker and expressed interest in knowing more about the process and requirements of Sustainability Reporting for possible application in the forthcoming annual reports of both SERDEF and ISSI.
ADFIAP is the SERDEF’s newest development partner, with both organizations having agreed recently to collaborate in entrepreneurship development projects that would help mSMEs become more productive and bankable.