In the current years it has turned out to be important for the companies to develop sustainability reports for addressing information requirements of their related stakeholders. Sustainability reporting will be elaborated within the paper that will focus on offering information regarding economic, environmental, governance and social performance (Alonso?Almeida, Llach and Marimon, 2014). The paper will also focus on evaluating General Reporting Initiative (GRI) strategy in consideration to Woolworths and Westfield. These two companies are positioned as renowned retailers those operate within Australia. In the current report, these two Australian companies are chosen for analyzing their sustainability initiatives that can be analyzed in consideration to the GRI guidelines.
Company Purpose for Offering GRI or IR
Purpose of GRI in Woolworths
The concept of “Greening Retail” is followed by Woolworths in compliance with both internal and the external frameworks related with retail sector in Australia. The plan has been prepared relied on five key aspects such as change in climate, water, packaging and waste. The objective behind developing sustainability report is to offer stakeholders with vital information that includes decrease in carbon emission (Fernandez-Feijoo, Romero and Ruiz 2014). Certain other objectives consider ensuring that the carbon emission levels are decreased with support of transport processes. Sustainability report also assures that the fleet of this company focuses on decrease in 30% of carbon emission and to decrease the usage amount of water by more than 200 million liters each year. Woolworths contributes in decrease of food waste within the landfill and carry out the retail sourcing activities focused on sustainable along with ethical considerations (Fonseca, McAllister and Fitzpatrick 2014).
Purpose of GRI in Westfield
The significance of offering GRI for Westfield is to offer information concerning values it obtained and such values includes sourcing, people, community, governance along with environment. In consideration to people, Westfield focuses on offering safer place of work for the employees and this focuses on development of effective work surrounding in consideration to maintain gender diversity (Gallego-Álvarez, Lozano and Rodríguez-Rosa 2018). In order to source, the company considers ethical sourcing along with suppliers. In other words, the suppliers are focused on preparing strong and cordial relations. For this reason, the company follows suppliers and ethical sourcing. In addition to that, the suppliers are focused on preparing strong and cordial relationships. For this reason, ethical sourcing basically strives in most effective way and improving social practices. In consideration to community, Westfield Limited makes certain that product safety for all its consumers. In consideration to environment, Westfield decreases its greenhouse emissions of companies and attaining improvement of climate change resilience (Hahn and Lülfs 2014). Considering same, water and waste usage decreases overall landfill waste. With focus on governance, the company sustains efficient corporate governance policies in distinct business segments.
Major Stakeholders Interest in Sustainability Report
The major group of stakeholders those are interested within sustainability reporting of Woolworths and Westfield are elaborated below:
- Investors and shareholders are deemed as important business stakeholders and they consider following the sustainability practices implemented by the companies (Henri and Boiral 2017). The investors consider the business conducts along with the societal influences. These companies sustainability report also indicates the initiatives of companies in providing benefits to the community and such business practices facilitate in promoting overall business position.
- Employees are also deemed to be an important stakeholder group and a vital part of reporting strategy as they might focus on attaining information on performance of numerous organization factors including safety standards. Moreover, they might facilitate in attaining information whether suitable working environment is made sure to address the personal as well as business objectives (Islam, Jain and Thomson 2016).
- The suppliers as well as the creditors are deemed as considerable stakeholders of companies. With the support of sustainability reporting, it turns out to be simple for the suppliers as well as creditors to attain an overview of business commitment in consideration to ethical business practices and sustainable development. In such scenario, the creditors might be interested in extending credit terms with the company as they attain confidence in total business conducts (Llewellyn and Logsdon 2017).
Important Similarities and Differences in the Report
Similarities and differences are observed in relation to the sustainability practices of Woolworths Limited and Westfield. In addition, as both the companies operate within Australian retail industry, several similarities are gathered in the reports played by them (Milne, Gray and Buhr 2014). Certain major similarities are observed in the company’s reports that are explained under:
Woolworths and Wesfarmers ensure sustainability strategies follow suitable safety standards are enforced for the employees. In addition, both of these companies offer information regarding number of accidents or injuries that took place annually and they have also implemented measured explained within sustainability reports. The objective is to decrease the number of accidents at the time of business conducts (Vigneau, Humphreys and Moon 2015). The management of Woolworths and Westfield and better policies related with waste management so that there might be decrease in waste generated from several operating activities of the companies. These companies have indicated their commitments to addresses the requirements and expectations of the stakeholders through implementing effective corporate governance along with policies of corporate social responsibility. Westfield and Woolworths has developed sustainability committees that might make sure of sustainability within their business practices through offering constant feedback to the company’s management (Westfield.com.au. 2018).
Conversely, there is some dissimilarity in the reports of Woolworths and Westfield is explained below:
Woolworth’s management has out great focus on environmental concerns within the sustainability report that is not identical in case of Westfield. This is due to the reason that environmental issues are associated disclosures along with important information has been offered regarding safety and security of employees, ethical sourcing as well as product safety (Woolworthsgroup.com.au. 2018). In contrast, Woolworths has explained regarding fleet in decreasing the carbon emission and there is no such disclosure might be gathered from the case of Westfield.
Sustainability Report Evaluation
Based on the information explained within sustainability reports of Woolworths along with Westfield it can be gathered that all such companies have disclosed the important aspects that are required to be included in the business organization reports (Gallego-Álvarez, Lozano and Rodríguez-Rosa 2018). It has also been evaluated that the sustainability reports of these companies take into consideration the considerable areas including employee safety, environment protection, stakeholder expectation and effective governance policies indicated within organization reports. In addition, both the company reports offer detailed account of upcoming goals and develop plans in consideration to sustainable business development. In addition, it can also be indicated that information quality is proper in Westfield in contrast to Woolworths (Gallego-Álvarez, Lozano and Rodríguez-Rosa 2018).
Consistency with GRI OR IR Standards
As per GRI 102 that is associated with general disclosures, it has been gathered that it contains numerous disclosure needs and they are vital while preparing sustainability reports for the companies (Fernandez-Feijoo, Romero and Ruiz 2014). After detailed evaluation of sustainability reports of Woolworths and Westfield’s, it is deemed that they abide by every guideline explained within the GRI standards through carrying out important disclosures within the company reports. In adherence with GRI 403 it is important for the management of these companies to focus on health and safety of employees associated with operational activities and they have strictly abided by these policies as recognized from sustainability reports (Fernandez-Feijoo, Romero and Ruiz 2014). It has been revealed from sustainability reports of these organizations that accidents of employees are decreased over years for the management has implemented effective measures in its control. Additionally, these two companies operate its business following guidelines set by the GRI sustainability standards.
Information Meeting Stakeholders Needs
Every stakeholder expectation varies relied on size, nature and operations of the companies. Conversely, here is single common expectation for every stakeholder category. All of these stakeholders desire the companies to make contributions in addressing the societal requirements that further improves value creation (Henri and Boiral 2017). In addition, governance practices followed by these companies must be developed in a way that they are accountable for every associated activity. The management of Westfield and Woolworths are associated in following sustainability conducts and this is carried out in compliance with GRI standards. This indicates that these organizations have considered the stakeholders needs and expectations in conducting business operations and conducts (Henri and Boiral 2017). Therefore, it can be indicated that these two Australian retail companies develop efficient strategies in attaining future business objectives along with carrying out sustainability conducts.
Focused on analysis of the companies carried out in this report, it is gathered that Woolworths and Westfield offers all important information focused on sustainability reporting. For this reason, ethical sourcing basically strives in most effective way and improving social practices. In consideration to community, Westfield Limited makes certain that product safety for all its consumers. Moreover, these two companies have followed all important guidelines explained within GRI and have also implemented measures for developing effective sustainability strategies.
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