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Corporate Sustainable Reporting

A current problem facing the world today revolves around the over-exploitation of natural resources and the self-interest of corporations. The manufacturing industry is a prominent consumer of a large amount of natural resources. It plays a large role in the exploitation of these resources. The exploitation has a variety of negative environmental and social impacts. However, these impacts are not easily quantified.  As a result, the effects are not reflected in corporations’ financial reports that are prepared for its stakeholders. Within the last couple decades the term sustainability has entered the corporate world. Stakeholders are beginning to hold corporations responsible for their actions. This includes demanding that corporations not only report its finances, but also the corporation’s impacts on society and the environment. Today, some of the most well known reporting systems include the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI, broad set of guidelines used internationally), Environmental Product Declarations (EPD, focused on a cradle-to-grave product life cycle), and the Sustainability Evaluation and Reporting System (SERS, integrates a number of systems, including aspects of GRI and EPD). The acceptance of a corporate sustainable reporting system, such as SERS within an industry, can standardize the information stakeholders demand. In addition, SERS can provide stakeholders a way to compare corporations within an industry. Adopting a corporate sustainable reporting system can provide many benefits to a corporation including boosting reputation, stakeholder relationships and consistency, and improved financial situations.

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