The United States Healthful Food Council is an organization of non-profit comes under 501(c) (3) section. Increase in the consumption and production of nutritious and healthy food for the societies. To rearrange the incentives of food industry’s innovation and partnership came as a solution with health of the customer. Aim of the USHFC is to change the system of food and get rid of the diseases due to diet (Mind body green. 2017). USHFC is certified by REAL i.e. Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership.
Rationale for sustainability reporting
Sustainability reporting is the process of determining, revealing and being accountable for the performance of the organization to internal and external stakeholders for organizational performance towards the goal of sustainable development. Balanced and reasonable presentation of sustainability performance is provided by sustainability report (Global reporting. 2011). Sustainability reporting is used for-
- Comparing the internal performance of the organization and with the competitors regularly.
- Sustainability presentation and forming benchmark with the norms, performance standards, laws, codes and initiated.
REAL Certification is a metrics system which is flexible, development of these metrics is done by the input of the different expert panels across industry, government and academia involving chefs and restaurants. The complete evaluation process includes analysis of menu, bills and verification of supply chain, front and back operations visual assessment. More than the 50 percent of the total score is necessary for the business to receive this certificate (Rouse, 2016). If a business receive this certificate it means they are providing healthy food and with good environment to their stakeholders.
Uses of the Standards
REAL certificate access the use of fresh fruits and vegetables avoidance of rotten and spoiled food. REAL certificate also provide the information about the number of fryers used and the methods used for the preparation of healthy food (Levin, 2013). Many times internet is not used properly and do not keep nutrition as the priority. Reward is provided to those who give more priorities to healthier and nutrition options. REAL access the guidelines for the restaurants in adding levels of certification. Platinum, gold and silver are the levels provided to the restaurants. Certifiers of REAL work with the restaurants for meeting the guidelines and to receive the certificate. REAL main goal is to promote the consumption and availability of healthy food and to make foods profitable as it can result is receiving incentives for businesses. Team of REAL certification include dieticians, experience chefs, experts of policies. Signing the contract is the initial step of the process.
Credibility of sustainability reports
Corporate sustainability reporting external assurance is not mandatory. But companies are opting external assurance for credibility. Types of external assurance engagement are Reasonable assurance and Limited assurance (Storaenso. 2017). Reasonable assurance involves complete audit and states that the topic is related to all the materials. On the other hand Limiter assurance state that evidence for audit are not found that can suggest that the topic of the subject is related to the related standards in the material. Most of the companies prefer Limited assurance, but for sustainability reporting reporters should use Reasonable assurance as key sustainability indicators. For the development of the business Reasonable assurance should be used for better credibility, for adding value and it will help business to be different from the competitors. Credibility of the integrated reporting can be seen when non-financial data is guaranteed to standards of financial data.
Value of Sustainability reporting
Firm value and environmental quality have a positive relationship. For the performance of the environment a control is implemented for higher cash flows. Investors are preferring to invest in the enterprises shows transparency of their activities due to stakeholders trust, accurate forecasting and there is no asymmetry of the information. Sustainability reporting help business to make some positive changes into the process. For learning opportunities environmental and social initiatives are employed by the firms. Sustainability reporting make organization’s decision-making process effective (Center for corporate citizenship. 2017). For the evaluation of the risk of business key metrics and management of sustainable business are significant and relation between social, environmental and business impact also suggest this. For sustainability, business dimensions helps in predicting and managing risk by reporting firms. For sustainability reporting firms are allowed to prepare and expect scarcity of future material, improvement of the process, operations of community issues can be prepared and anticipated.
Sustainability reporting provide values in increase of employee loyalty, improvement in the relations with the authorities, reputation improves, reduction in the waste, consumer loyalty increases (Rossouw, R. 2013).
In the conclusion it can be said that leads to the development of the food industry and promote healthy food. REAL certificate provide the assurance that the restaurant is providing healthy food with good environment to their clients. Sustainability reporting is one of the reason for the development of the business.
Center for corporate citizenship. (2017). Value of Sustainability Reporting. Retrieved from: https://www.confluencellc.com/uploads/3/7/9/6/37965831/valueofsustainabilitysummary.pdf
Global reporting. (2011). Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. Retrieved from: https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/G3.1-Guidelines-Incl-Technical-Protocol.pdf
Levin, A. (2013). REAL Certification. Retrieved from: https://www.fesmag.com/departments/green-tip/11134-real-certification-and-ris,-washington,-d-c
Mind body green. (2017). United States Healthful Food Council. Retrieved from: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/wc/united-states-healthful-food-council
Rossouw, R. (2013). The value of Sustainability Reporting. Retrieved from: https://www.nextgeneration.co.za/value-sustainability-reporting/
Rouse, M. (2016). BVSD Food Services earns REAL certification from United States Healthful Food Council. Retrieved from: https://eatreal.org/bvsd-food-services-earns-real-certification-from-united-states-healthful-food-council/
Storaenso. (2017). Focus on credible sustainability reporting. Retrieved from: https://www.storaenso.com/sustainability/stories/focus-on-credible-sustainability-reporting