Do you know how to decipher between a business ethics report being published for marketing versus actual transparency? A good business knows that ethics is the priority and that good business is better business. While companies are jumping on the trend to commission and publish their own report, it’s important as a reader of said report to be able to understand what the information is relaying. For example, many companies commission reports but they don’t actually reveal more of what the company is doing and create even more confusion. The good business shift is quite unregulated as of now, so it can be even more confusing looking at all of the different reports—some are phenomenal and give a ton of insight and tell the story of what and why they’re choosing to make a difference. Others use jargon but lack the specifics. Here are a few things to look for to identify a good report and to help you decide if this company is worth your investment and support.
Dissecting A Good Business Report
1. There is a clear definition of ethics and sustainability
While there is still debate over the actual term “sustainability” and what this exactly includes, the best way to understand how this company interprets the word and practice, is by reading their clearly stated definition of it. If they don’t have the term listed and explained somewhere within the report, the chances are that they may not understand it still, themselves.
2. Inclusive language
Inclusive language comes in many forms. This will look like not making the continue exclusive to one income bracket, gender, age group, geographical location, relationship status, employment type, or those lifestyle factors. Additionally, inclusive language is mixing in good business jargon such as words like “ethics”, “sustainability”, “carbon footprint”, “greenwashing” and explaining those in words or phrases people who have not studied or worked within this industry can understand.
3. Carbon footprint
A good business report will also state the company’s current carbon findings. They will have taken the time to seek out and understand this information and if they are truly prioritizing transparency in their good business pursuit, they will publicize this.
4. Identified goals
Clearly communicated goals will also be marked in the report. A truly good business and one that prioritizes the pursuit of ethical changes will be able to list their goals. Oftentimes there will be more than one, as well. Sample goal themes include focusing on:
Community & Society
Positive contributions to the local community and to society.
Commitment to fair and decent relationships with suppliers and business partners.
Fair and decent employment practices.
Awareness of environmental issues and commitment to environmental sustainability.