Dr Sustainability is back! Dr. Sustainability has been rather busy of late, engaging with stakeholders, making materiality assessments, chairing meetings and enjoying life on the sustainability confirming circuit generally. She has once again agreed to share her perspectives in response to reader questions EXCLUSIVELY on the CSR Reporting blog. She knows that the CSR Reporting Blog is the longest working blog about confirming in the stratosphere and that it is always filled with quality insights. Top quality, bad quality, who cares, it’s always quality.

Dear Dr. Sustainability: After almost 20 years of confirming, we don’t possess too much left to say. We’ve defined our plans already, initiatives and approaches. Of course, we can update the quantitative data easily, but all the others is really as it always has been. Should we now test out different topics to report?

For example, the fact that people have organic ice cream in our dining room? Or that people have reversed our smoke-free policy inside our corporate offices to ensure we get affordability from our fire detectors? Or should we simply republish our latest report with a different image on the front?

Dear Reporter: It’s true a year happens rapidly and even if you really scrape the barrel, there is not enough to say always. However, simply republishing your last report is not a good idea. After all, you want to differentiate yourselves from your competition, correct? In my own view, you will be proactive and create some content specially for your survey.

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For example, you could rebuild your corporate head offices totally out of post-consumer recycled waste materials you have collected from all of your employees and local areas. This is actually a long-term win-win, because then, rather than tossing out your office waste materials, you can utilize it to construct another working office. Dear Dr. Sustainability: I noticed that GRI and SASB are to collaborate on confirming standards.

All SASB sector specifications are to be built-into GRI Standards and then, eventually, there will no longer be a dependence on a two split organizations. I heard they will merge and call themselves Global Sustainability Standards Reporting Accounting Board Initiative (GSSRABI) headquartered in Amsterdam. Do you consider this will help enhance the quality of reporting over the future?

Dear Optimist: I believe that’s just absolutely fantastic. It’s true that we need more collaboration in the sustainability reporting space. Usually, when you listen to the word “collaboration”, this means endless dialogue it doesn’t get anywhere. At least, in this case, bike sales in Europe will increase. Dear Dr. Sustainability: We are along the way of planning our next survey and we’ve engaged two different consultants to help us prepare it.

The problem is the consultants can’t acknowledge anything and each time one of these advises us on something, the other gives the opposite advice. How do we resolve this? Dear Moneybags: You have two options. Only pay the consultant whose advice you choose to accept. Or, better, hire another expert to mediate between your existing two and decide on your behalf what is most appropriate. You may finish up with a consultant-speak techno-babble report, but at least you won’t be caught in the center of consultant-speak techno-babble arguments. Dear Dr. Sustainability: I hear GRI is collaborating with the UNGC while others to make a reporting platform for the SDGs.