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Not just Swiss companies face the challenge of adapting to stricter, EU-inspired standards in terms of disclosure of the carbon footprint. The discussion about sustainability reporting is also gaining momentum globally.

This blog post uses Prime Computer’s best practice examples to explain what sustainability reporting is and why businesses benefit from being transparent about their business activities in the light of sustainability. Furthermore, we will tell you how to take the first steps in reporting business activities and provide you with helpful advice from our CSR department. 

What is sustainability reporting?

In a sustainability report, companies publish their activities and services with which they assume responsibility: for the employees and the environment – in their own company and the value chain. In addition to the annual report, the sustainability report is an essential element of corporate communication.

The sustainability report aims to understand your business’s impact on the environment, society, and governance.

Prime Computer’s sustainability report includes the following points, which we also recommend to anyone who wants to create such a report:

  • Information on where the organisation is today and where it wants to go
  • Explanation of the way goods are produced, or services that are provided
  • Information on the sustainability measures taken for the reporting year
  • Analysis of the business activities from the point of view of the set sustainability goals
  • Framework for classifying the goals achieved
  • Reflection on the results and outlook for the next year
Extract of Prime Computer's Sustainability Report 2021

The advantages of a sustainability report are obvious.

Enormous costs can be saved by making small changes, e.g., reducing material and energy consumption. In addition, dealing with and optimising processes offers room for innovation. Also, the disclosure of corporate activities increases transparency towards stakeholders. At Prime Computer, for example, we are committed to communicating how we manufacture products – strengthening trust in our products and services. And last but not least, by publishing sustainability reports, entrepreneurs can also become pioneers in an entire industry and inspire others to follow them on the path to a sustainable and environmentally friendly business. Prime Computer has set the task of further advancing the circular economy, and in our report published at the beginning of 2022, we describe what we have done so far and what steps we will take in the future.

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Transparency is key!

Those who report transparently on their corporate activities will anchor the principle of sustainability in their corporate strategy and constantly improve their social and ecological performance. By developing sustainability models, companies can identify environmental, social and economic challenges and work continuously to position themselves as sustainable in the long term.

“Sustainability reporting is essential to raise awareness among stakeholders, but more importantly to monitor progress and improve sustainability efforts. I recommend that every company analyse and record sustainability metrics to optimize processes and efficiency for long-term sustainable business performance.”
- Valentin Boutmy, Sustainability Manager at Prime Computer

Five steps to the sustainability report.

We have to be honest: the preparation of a sustainability report involves a great deal of work, especially in the first reporting year. In the beginning, thorough research of the relevant key figures should be done, and the required data and background information should be collected. This framework then provides a reasonable basis for subsequent years, which should further progress in parallel with the company’s development.

Of course, a sustainability report is primarily based on solid data, which forms the basis of the reporting. But a sustainability report is more than just statistics and can serve to educate a larger audience about the company’s goals and vision. We at Prime Computer have thought about what content our report should convey in five steps and would like to share our approach with you.

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1. Define your vision and strategy in terms of sustainability

Think about your company’s values and vision and whether there is already a sustainability strategy. Have you already implemented improvements in the company? Then record them in the report!

2. Clarify the general conditions for your report

Make an action plan and schedule to better control data collection. Also, secure human resources to support you with reporting. It is also advisable to have a contact person in each department who can provide you with information about the sustainability activities of the respective department.

3. Go into the field and collect data

Gather quantitative data you need by asking employees for relevant metrics found primarily in finance, procurement, and energy. However, sustainability goes beyond standard financial reporting, so you also have to think about where your materials come from, how your employees commute to work, from which sources you get energy, etc.

4. Derive specific goals and measures for your company

With the collected data, you can determine the status quo and identify concrete goals and benchmarks for your company. Let your new insights and the sustainability strategy flow and improve in areas where there is still much room for improvement!

5. Design, Write, Spread!

Congratulations – you’ve almost reached the mountain summit…completing the most significant tasks. Now you have to think about presenting your content in a language that your readers can understand. An attractive layout helps you prepare the data and statistics and make the report worth reading. Then think about how you want to distribute the message. Posting on your company’s website is always good, and sharing the report on social media can bring you additional readers.

Get inspired by Prime Computer's Sustainability Report 2021!

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The publication of an annual sustainability report is an essential part of corporate governance, and a report is relevant to all businesses, regardless of size or industry. In addition, a CSR report provides information on topics pertinent to stakeholders and creates trust through transparency. Committed companies communicate clearly and unambiguously which goals they have achieved and which hurdles they still have to overcome in the future. Sustainability is never a process that can be completed but an ongoing journey that we are all on. We also make our Sustainability Report 2021 available to share our commitment toward the environment and society, and to give inspiration for your projects.

Have a look at our sustainability report to find out which sustainability goals we’ve reached, and what goals we set to reach this year!

Click Here for Prime Computer's Sustainability Report 2021

A new law that will come into force in 2023 in Switzerland requires larger listed companies to report how many tonnes of CO2 they emit from 2023 onwards. On the one hand, companies must record the emissions they cause directly. And on the other hand, they must show which upstream and downstream CO2 quantities are related to their activities, for example, by purchasing products or services at home and abroad. We at Prime Computer identified five fundamental principles which you should consider when creating a solid data-based sustainability report: transparency, clearly defined sustainability goals, honest reflection and an appealing and understandable communication for the readers.

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