Understanding what data will be required is essential for reporting, informing strategy and tracking progress. Determining what data is available, who has oversight of it, and whether it’s reliable is half the battle. Complete and verifiable data not only enables thorough and transparent sustainability reporting, but it also positions your sustainability team and operational leaders to identify both risks and opportunities for meaningful change.
Look to external resources like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Science Based Targets initiative and Global Reporting Initiative, among others, for best practices. To help ensure accuracy, processes for collecting and organizing data should be thoroughly documented and an audit trail maintained. To help ensure integrity, verify your data. Check final, calculated data against original source data. Verify formulas. Question whether each result makes sense, and if not, take steps to correct any errors or explain any outliers. Finally, retain and organize source documentation, and document the methodology used for future reference.