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Guidelines and tools for Sustainability reporting

Here you find a list of most of the well known guidelines for corporate sustainability and environmental reporting. Many of them are online available. For those which are not, you find the information to get a copy of it. If you have information of additional guidelines which are not listed, please mail me!

Click here Name of guideline Description Comments


The Sustainability Reporting Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) 2006 (G3) The Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines  represent the first global framework for comprehensive sustainability reporting, encompassing the “triple bottom line” of economic, environmental, and social issues. The Guidelines bring reporters and report users alike one major step closer to elevating sustainability reporting to a level consistent with financial reporting. The guideline is fully online in several formats


Framework for Public Environmental Reporting, an Australian approach Guideline document published in march 2000 by Environment Australia. Very good and complete guidelines. The guidelines are fully online available on this site (pdf)
General Guidelines on Environmental Reporting


Guidelines of The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published in 2001 The guideline is fully online available (pdf)
Japanese Environmental Reporting Guidelines, Guidance for Publishing Environmental Reporting Guideline document published in february 2001 by the Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan


The guideline is fully online available (pdf)


Der Leitfaden "Der Nachhaltigkeitsbericht"



German Guideline for sustainability reporting. Der Leitfaden richtet sich direkt an Unternehmen. Er will ihnen praktische Hilfe bei der Erstellung eines eigenen Nachhaltigkeitsberichtes bieten. Die Inhalte des Leitfadens werden anhand von Beispielen aus der Praxis der Pilotunternehmen illustriert. The guideline is fully online available.


The CEFIC Responsible Care - Health, Safety and Environmental  reporting guidelines The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) has published guidelines in 1998 for the european chemical companies. Their previous guidelines of 1993 are also well-known in other sectors The guidelines are fully online available.
The WICE guidelines The World Industry Council for the Environment (WICE) is a global coalition of enterprises initiated in 1993 by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). In 1995 they published their guidelines for voluntary reporting Guidelines are not online available, for ordering visit the ICC-website or send a fax to +41 171 235 5447
CBI guideline: "Introducing environmental reporting" This small booklet is published by the Conferation of British Industries
(CBI) in 1995 and provides a guide to the key issues. It also clarifies the reporting requirements of the CBI Environment Business Forum. It refers and made use of the WICE and PERI guidelines.
It is out of print but copies may be available by the CBI desk:
UNEP/Sustainability reports "Engaging Stakeholders" UNEP/SustainAbility published a report, Engaging Stakeholders, Vols 1 and 2 in 1996. Volume 1 : The Benchmark Survey covers international trends in corporate environmental reporting; introduces new and revised reporting and benchmarking tools. Volume 2: The Case Studies focuses on the activities and perspectives of 12 very different users of corporate environmental reports. In 1997 The 1997 Benchmark Survey has been published. Not online available. Visit the UNEPIE site for order information and more backgrounds.


The Forum on Environmental   Reporting (FEEM) Guidelines for preparation of company environmental reports The working group Forum on Environmental Reporting of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) in Italy produced these guidelines in 1995 The guidelines are fully online available on this site


ACBE-guidelines "Environmental Reporting and the Financial Sector: An Approach to Good Practice" In February 1997 the Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment (ACBE) in the UK issued guidelines directed at all businesses encouraging more widespread use of environmental reporting and set out good practice for reporting the financial aspects of environmental performance The guidelines are fully online available on this site
The report "Coming clean: corporate environmental reporting" The International Institute for Sustainable Development; IISD, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International and SustainAbility Ltd made this first guideline ever for environmental reporting in 1993 The report is not online available but the key findings are available at the IISD site


Belaggio Principles: "Guidelines for the practical assesment of progress toward sustainable development The International Institute for Sustainable Development developed these principles including an item as environmental reporting Online available
GEMI tools and publications The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) published several tools for environmental reporting Not online available but for a list and order possibility visit their website page
DIN Norm 33922 for an environmental report The German Standardisation Body DIN issued the DIN 33922 "Leitfaden für Umweltberichte" Not online available, for the order possibility for this German norm, visit their website


Handreiking Maatschappelijke Verslaggeving en Richtlijn 400 The Dutch Advisory Board for Annual Reporting issued in september 2003 a special guideline for sustainability reporting. Orderable


Checklist milieuverslaggeving van de Vereniging voor Milieu-accountancy (VMA) Checklist van onderwerpen voor een milieujaarverslag gebaseerd op best practice en jury-beoordelingen van de Nederlandse ACC Award Online available in PDF
CMA Management Accounting Guideline: "Writing and Evaluating Sustainable Development and Environmental Reports" (exposure draft) The objective of the guideline issued in 1998 by The Society of Mangement Accountants of Canada (CMA) is to provide instruction on how corporate commitment to sustainable development (SD) and environmental stewardship practices can be most effectively communicated through SD and environmental reports. It also assists management accountants and other stakeholders in the assesment of these reports. Not online available, visit the website of CMA to order it


UNCTAD Report: "Environmental Financial Accounting and Reporting at the Corporate level" The Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) of UNCTAD published in 1998 this report. The first chapter is an interim statement of best practice guidance for accounting and reporting for environmental costs and liabilities.The purpose is to provide assistance to enterprises, regulators and standard-setting bodies in determining what is considered best practice in accounting for environmental transactions and events in the financial statements and associated notes. Online available (downloadable)
Guideline "Corporate Environmental Reporting. Why and How" of the NSW EPA in Australia Generally, public or private sector organisations in NSW are not required by law to publish environmental reports. However, the EPA believes increasing demand by a range of stakeholders will further encourage voluntary environmental reporting. To motivate and assist in high quality reporting the EPA, in conjunction with the Department of State and Regional Development, has published this guidance document in 1997 Not online available. For order information visit this page
The ACCA Guide to environment and energy reporting 1997 In 1998 the accountants organisation ACCA (UK) published this guide (made by Aspinwall & Co) which contains step-by-step advice on how and when to report environmental issues to stakeholders. It features a best practice checklist, an introduction to environmental reporting issues, a guide to reporting on energy use and has sections on report development. Visit the website of ACCA to order a hard copy
The INEM Sustainability Reporting Guide:
A Manual on Practical and Convincing Communication for Future-Oriented Companies
The guide (October 2001) gives advice on how to draw up an effective sustainability report. Focusing on the economic interests of companies, as well as on reliable and convincing communication, it informs about target groups and their interests in information, outlines the principles of sustainability reporting and describes the elements of the sustainability report. It also provides numerous practical examples for presentation of performance data and design of sustainability reports. Further on, the Guide addresses the problem of credibility of the sustainability report and shows possible ways to sustainable management. The Guide is appropriate for both small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies. Published with the support of the Stiftung Apfelbaum. Online available (downloadable in pdf)


INEM/future guideline: "Environmental Reports, Environmental Statements: Guidelines on Preparation and Dissemination" The International Network for Environmental Management (INEM) and the German organisation future e.V.-Umweltinitiative von Unternehme(r)n published this guideline as a tool which incorporate experiences and practical examples of forward-hinking companies which have made information on their environmental performance available to the public. Orginally published in German (1994) and later (1998) translated into english. The guideline is intergrated in the EMAS Toolkit for SMEs publication. Online available. The toolkit includes an interactive check-list for evaluating environmental reports and statements
CICA Guideline: "Reporting on Environmental Performance" The guideline (1994) provides an insight into what should be included in environmental reports and how they should be presented.  A key resource for all members of the accounting profession, business executives and others, this publication was prepared by a CICA study group in association with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the Financial Executives Institute Canada.  In addition to practical guidance on how to compile and present environmental data, this important report also contains illustrative examples and charts, and informative appendices.  A separate Summary Report, ideal for senior management and directors who want to know more about this emerging area of financial reporting, is also included. Not online available. For order information visit the site of CICA (http://www.cica.ca)


"Environmental Reporting : getting started" Online guide of the UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1999)