The purpose of the awards program is to acknowledge and publicize best practice in reporting on sustainability, environmental and social performance by corporations and organizations. The awards are not intended to endorse or reward corporate sustainability performance, but rather to acknowledge exemplary disclosure that places performance in the broader context of sustainability challenges, risks and opportunities.
The North American awards program covers any American, Canadian or Mexican company, institution or organization, as well as companies with reports solely focused on a site or subsidiary based in the United States, Canada or Mexico. The judging criteria, developed and used worldwide by ACCA, address completeness, credibility and quality of communication. The panel of 10 expert judges, which is independent from Ceres and ACCA, is comprised of North American leaders with backgrounds in the nonprofit, corporate and investment communities.
\”We founded this award program 10 years ago in the belief that recognizing best practice in sustainability disclosure is a driver for improving sustainability performance,\” said Paul Costello, head of ACCA Canada and USA. \”Good reporting motivates benchmarking, goal-setting, and builds an accountability mechanism for internal and external stakeholders.\”
Rigorous corporate sustainability disclosure has become a core expectation of corporations. Rising pressure from investors for improved corporate disclosure of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, in addition to recent steps taken by both the U.S. and Canadian governments on mandatory disclosure, demonstrates the growing need for identifying best practices in reporting.
\”Solid sustainability disclosure is a significant component of a cohesive and effective sustainability strategy. The Ceres Roadmap, released earlier this year, explores the key elements for good disclosure and how disclosure can be used to not only tell a company\’s story, but to engage key stakeholder groups, such as investors,\” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres. \”The Ceres-ACCA reporting awards set an example for companies to follow as sustainability reporting increases in priority for shareholders and other stakeholders.\”
Last year 93 sustainability reports from companies and organizations – representing more than 20 sectors – were submitted to the awards program. The award for Best Sustainability Report was given to The Timberland Company. Timberland was recognized for combining traditional reporting methods with online communications vehicles, to provide sustainability information to a wide range of stakeholders. The company was also recognized for its innovative efforts to report sustainability information to stakeholders on a quarterly basis. Other winners included Ford Motor Company, awarded First Runner-Up, and Seventh Generation for the Best Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) Report.