Stakeholders and society in general are becoming more conscious about sustainability and corporate values each day. To this extent, there have been many instruments that have been adopted to encourage corporate sustainability in businesses. The Dow Jones Index on Sustainability, Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) sustainability reporting, UN Global Compact’s Annual Communication of Progress (COP) Report, ISO 26000 on Corporate Social Responsibility and the OECD’s National Contact Points (NCP) are among the major global initiatives to encourage sustainability in businesses.

The global developments on providing for corporate sustainability are promising. However, there are still many issues that have to be resolved and many steps that need to be taken. Firstly, the elements to be disclosed concerning sustainability vary between different systems. Also, apart from GRI’s guidelines, there is no mutual framework for nonfinancial sustainability reporting, such as the IFRS system in place for financial reporting. Furthermore, the nonfinancial sustainability reporting lacks binding effects in most cases.

I would suggest the implementation of a global standard and certification system concerning corporate sustainability.

Read the full article by Gizem Alper (corporate lawyer registered to the Istanbul Bar Association).