Writing a good CSR report

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CSR Report

Writing a good CSR report

Most of you have written certain kind of reports required either in your academic curriculum or in your internship/job. Then you are also aware that there are different types of reports that are needed and written in both academic and professional platform. CSR report or sustainability report is one such report usually written by the organizations and corporations to review their CSR performance annually. Let us first understand what actually a CSR report is.

What is a CSR Report?

Corporate Social Responsibility, commonly abbreviated as CSR has become an integral part of every medium and large organization. You might have noticed that most of the large corporations now mention their CSR performance around the year in their annual reports. Browse through the annual reports of organizations like Pepsico, 3M, American Express, Sony Global and much more to view their CSR activities. You can also get access to their CSR report only if you want to do an in-depth evaluation. Notice how CSR reporting has been given high priority along with the financial reports. You already know that CSR strategies are executed to benefit the society and environment around us. Also keep in mind that these organizations also build trust among the people, its employees and stakeholders through CSR programs.

Structuring a CSR Report

Like any other academic report or professional report, CSR report also needs to be written in a set structure for ease in readability and flow of information. You need to start with the introduction of the company followed by briefly stating the mission and vision of the company. Next, add the product/service details along with target markets across various sectors. Now start with the CSR strategy. Write why this CSR strategy is taken and how this strategy has helped the organization and the society. Remember to keep it concise yet informative so that the reader can make out an assumption regarding the degree of its success. Make sure to add how the strategy was executed and how the strategy has performed from its inception. Evaluate the future possibilities and potentials of the strategy for opening new target markets and maximizing benefits for the organization and the society as a whole.

If it’s a long-term CSR strategy then explain its progress and performance so far. Evaluate the future expectations and plausible outcomes for the ongoing strategy. Do not forget to include data and graphs while evaluating your report. Data, graphs, facts, and figures make it easier to analyze as well as compare the performance with the previous years.  Sum up your report with a fitting conclusion. You can add a number of appendices for additional reading and help for the readers. Usually, financial performances of the organization as well as any awards or accolades are covered in the appendices.

Challenges in writing a CSR Report

Your CSR report might go wrong if you fail to add certain critical parameters necessary for overall performance. There might be another scenario where the environmental assessment is not covered properly or the progress and commitment level was not explored much. Chevron 2011 CSR report is one such example where they took the freedom to explore their initiatives and strategies but failed in explaining their performance.

Now you may question what issues need to be prioritized to get a good and conclusive CSR report at the end. Does it mean that we must avoid stating bad performance in the CSR report? A recent study by KPMG revealed that most companies prefer to leave out the poor performances in their report. Keep in mind that stakeholders would always want to know about the commitment and their impact on the profitability and society. One thing is clear that the report must be balanced with both the good and bad performance round the year.

Hope this will give you a better idea regarding CSR report. For more exciting information, check our blog page.

April 2018
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