At the same time the various stakeholders demand transparency in their specific

At the same time the various stakeholders demand

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business and its organizational structures and management processes. At the same time, the various stakeholders demand transparency in their specific roles, which leads to additional complexity. To be sure, there is no single fix for corporate sustainability management. In this context, business applications provide benefits, which help companies to measure, monitor and manage their sustainability performance. These benefits are: Timely availability of information; delivery of relevant, true, accurate, consistent information. High degree of integration between databases and processes. Process support during data provisioning. The data are either automatically sourced from the respective back-end systems or a manual data-entry process is supported by pre-defined questionnaires, automated calculations, centrally maintained parameters (e.g., emission factors), plausibility checks and by approval processes. In any case, documentation by “log -files provides a full audit trail, which is needed for subsequent internal or external audits. Scalability and changeability; adaptable to process and organization changes SAP, the global market leader for enterprise applications, offers a GRI-certified software, which supports the creation of corporate sustainability reports. SAP communicated that 85% of the quantitative indicators of GRI’s G3 guidelines are contained within the SAP Systems of Record. In other words, the information needed for sustainability reports is already available to a great extent, and sourcing them from the systems of record can reduce the time of data provisioning considerably. However, even with a high degree of standardization and predefined content available in the software, this does not avoid the effort necessary in defining the indicators by which the individual corporation considers essential to measure, track and report its sustainability performance. In spite of IT support, there is still considerable preparation work and change management effort to be undertaken within the organization. Corporate sustainability management can be confronted with significant obstacles and barriers to implementation. Foremost, these are limited informational transparency and measurability. Other barriers can be the lack of management support, the complexity of stakeholder management, operationalization of sustainability targets and others [48] (p. 82). Nevertheless, concerns have been raised regarding the real benefit of both sustainability and financial reports. The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) argues that both financial and non-financial reports tend to be mostly backward oriented, static and of little help for investors and stakeholders ( cf. [49]). Therefore, the IIRC sets out to revise both financial and sustainability reporting and to develop a common standard for an international integrated reporting framework. Integrated reporting shall become a new approach to corporate reporting that demonstrates the linkages between an organizatio n’s strategy, governance and financial performance and the social, environmental and economic context within which it operates.
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  • Fall '19
  • environmental sustainability

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