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Power Bite: An Overview of ESG Reporting

Aug 29, 2022 | 4m


An Overview of ESG Reporting

ESG reporting is a disclosure of environmental, social and governance data. As with all disclosures, its main purpose is to shed light on a company’s ESG activities, while improving investor transparency. Reporting is also an effective way to demonstrate that the company is meeting its goals, and that their ESG projects are not just greenwashing, but genuine.

Types of Reporting

ESG reporting exists in the form of regional reporting frameworks, voluntary standards, and national legislation. Oftentimes, companies will include ESG reporting in their annual reports to demonstrate how sustainable the business is. ESG reports can include both quantitative and qualitative information that are related to the three pillars of ESG: environmental, social, and governance.


  • Combating climate change
  • Reducing carbon emissions
  • Preserving biodiversity
  • Improving air and water quality
  • Combating deforestation
  • Managing waste
  • Using natural resource responsibly
  • Creating sustainable products


  • Adhering to human rights and labor standards
  • Contributing to the community
  • Adhering to health and safety standards
  • Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Investing in the workforce through education and training
  • Providing work life balance
  • Protecting personal data and privacy


  • Policies, principles, and procedures governing leadership
  • Board composition
  • Executive compensation
  • Political contributions
  • Whistleblower programs
  • Responsibility to shareholders

All of these pillars require different types of measurement, and it is always good to be measured by a third party provider  such as the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative). It is a framework that helps companies expose both the positive and negative impacts that their businesses have on the environment, economy, and society. The GRI helps companies to demonstrate how they are offsetting the unavoidable damage they may be causing. For example, planting more trees to offset deforestation.

Another reporting initiative is the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board or SASB.  It comprises a set of standards that help companies collect and share ESG data that affect the firm’s business decisions and explain the financial impact of sustainability. They are more sector focused.

This is why the GRI and SASB joined forces in 2020 and have since published a guide to how organizations can use the two standards together. GRI looks at the high-level scope, while SASB gives companies industry-specific guidelines using a financial lens.  Both have very good resource centers where more information can be found.

There are also several other initiatives that companies can be a part of, including the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI), and Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI). 

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