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You must also read a fictional case study based on a company that will be provided to you in due course. You must then prepare a sustainability assessment report referring to the Consolidated Set of GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards 2016 that specifically addresses:

A. Economic sustainability

i) Disclosure 201-2 Financial implications and other risks and opportunities due to climate change
ii) Disclosure 205-3 Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken
iii) Disclosure 206-1 Legal actions for anti-competitive behaviour, anti-trust, and monopoly practices

B. Environmental sustainability

i) Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organisation
ii) Disclosure 304-2 Significant impacts of activities, products, and services on biodiversity
iii) Disclosure 307-1 Non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations

C. Social sustainability


i) Disclosure 401-1 New employee hires and employee turnover
ii) Disclosure 406-1 Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken
iii) Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs You will be required to include a minimum of 15 references in your Risk Assessment Report at least 5 of which must come from academic journals or textbooks.

Discussion

An organization prepares a sustainability report for measuring the impacts the company have on the different aspects of the operations that are used. The sustainability report helps the company to disclose these impacts to the stakeholders of the company. According to Epstein (2018), the sustainability report also helps the companies to reflect upon their impact on the different factors such as environmental, economic and social and develop their policies and regulations towards their corporate responsibility. A proper sustainability report should consist of a balanced representation of the reasonable performance of the company towards the sustainability practices. This sustainability report should comprise of both the negative and the positive impacts to create a balanced general report. In this report, the GRI reporting framework has been used to standardize the report in an accepted framework, which can distinctively present the report on the company’s impact on the environmental, social and environmental factors. The GRI report takes into consideration the practical elements and presents a clear picture of to the stakeholders. In this discussion, the primary focus is on the preparation of a GRI report of a trading company, Trading.com, which provides training and consultancy services to the clients.

Economic Sustainability:

Disclosure 201-2: Trading.com operates mainly as a consultancy for the mentoring of prospective clients on share trading. The climatic changes have a very little impact on the operations of the company, as the operations of the company are not affected by climatic change. However, according to Schaltegger and Wagner (2017), if the climatic changes such as heavy storms and rains occur, the client turnout may be low, which may adversely affect the financial status of the company. Hence, it can be said that though there are certain climatic risk elements, which can adversely affect the financial opportunities of the company, the threat is relatively low.

Disclosure 205-3: The regional managers of the company are devoid of any corporate strategy. There is no formal method of sharing information between the regional management and the senior management. This leads to the development of an autocratic regime in the regional management system. According to Boons and Lüdeke-Freund (2013), this autocratic system withholds the sharing of any negative feedback, which leads to formation of corrupt work policies. The consultants do not get any active feedback from the company and are left to do their own actions which leads to the displeasure of the company. Evolution of corrupt deeds are on the rise, where everyone is busy to fend for himself or herself. The lack of the corporate responsibility in the management forces them to think in a selfish manner. Similarly, the senior management is disconnected from the regional teams, which leads to the inactions and failure to meet the targets. The failure in the system is caused by the communication gap between the management teams and the consultants create a very uncanny office atmosphere, which is very harmful for the corporate operations.

Economic Sustainability

The management should take active steps in identifying the problems within the internal structure of the office and actively participate to develop plans to bridge the communication gap. According to Boons, Montalvo, Quist and Wagner (2013), a proper communication between the teams shall lead to the proper sharing of feedback and recommendations, which can diminish the autocratic structure of the company and bring a harmonious and corporate situation, which can help the company to grow and develop.

Disclosure 206-1: Trading.com should have a more transparent and prominent monitoring system, which can monitor the activities of the employees, which includes both the consultants and the managers. As both of the entities are jointly responsible for the development of the sales and the clientele for the company, they need to be evaluated on a periodic basis. According to Schaltegger, Hansen and Lüdeke-Freund (2016), the monitoring system shall have a feedback feature, which will help to develop the internal communication in the company. The performance reports based on the active feedback system can enhance the quality of work that is done by the employees and lead to the reduction of the corruption in the company structure.

The monopoly power structure of the company needs to seriously change in order to employ a sustainable social structure of the company. Before, the consultants were paid on the basis of their sales target in the form of incentives. However, this system was the cause of displeasure among the employees as they were not motivated to work for the company, which did not provide them even with the minimum financial compensation to meet their needs. The company CEO Jospe Drake, found the system to be inhuman and introduced the salary of $30000 per annum for the consultants irrespective of the sales target. This action is beneficial for the company as it can lead to the retention of more consultants. The retention of experienced consultants can help in the generation and conversion of more leads into successful clients. This achievement can help the company grow in the means of economic development.

Disclosure 302-1: Trading.com has branches in four cities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. The four offices of the company consumes a significant amount of energy for the running of electricity and the electricity based equipment. Air-conditions and fans also consume a lot of energy. This results to the unsustainable use of energy in the offices, which is not good for the environment (Crane & Matten, 2016). As a corporate organization, Trading.com, bears a corporate responsibility towards the society. The company has to contribute to the environmental factors and look after the sustainable use of resources. This responsibility can have a positive effect on the reputation of the company, which can be hailed as an environmentally sustainable company.

Environmental Sustainability

Trading.com shall look forward to the development of sustainable measures which can reduce the power consumption from the non-renewable sources to a more sustainable source of energy. The company shall invest in the instalment of solar panels outside the office, so that it can convert the solar energy into electricity for the power consumption of the office. According to Malhotra, Melville and Watson (2013), the investment in the sustainable resources can help the company to take part in the movement of reducing harmful emissions in the environment by reducing the use of power generated from non-renewable energy resources. This will also reduce the company’s contribution in the carbon footprint of the society.

Disclosure 304-2: Trading.com bears a corporate responsibility of contributing to the society by taking care of the environmental factors that it can influence. Being a company that mainly operates in the online sector, the company does not use much of the natural resources for its operation. However, as has been suggested by Benn, Edwards and Williams (2014), the little contribution that it has due to the consumption of power for running the offices can be taken care of in a sustainable manner.

The company shall purchase energy efficient equipment such as Air conditioners, Fans, Computers and lights so that it can contribute to the sustainable use of the energy. The lowering of the energy consumption by the use of the energy efficient products can lead to the contribution in the sustainability of the use of energy.


Besides, the above activities, the company can contribute to the environmental sustainability by investing in several projects as a benefactor, which promotes environmental sustainability. The company can take part in programs such as tree-planting movements to promote its participation in the environmental sustainability (Williams & Schaefer, 2013). The company can also take part in non-government environmental conservation activities such as water conservation or pollution control awareness programs, which can help the company to contribute towards the environmental sustainability.

The company shall reduce the use of papers for official activities and turn more into computer-based operations. This step shall contribute towards a greener environment by discouraging the felling of trees for making of paper. According to Sidiropoulos (2014), the greener environment can lead to the reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases and make the environment cleaner and safer. These small steps by the company in its own sustainable manner can contribute to the environment and help the company to achieve its corporate responsibility.

Social Sustainability

Disclosure 307-1: Trading.com has not been a part of any environmental rule violation. It tries to comply by every policies and regulations that have been set by the government for the sustainable use of the natural resources. However, the company has to be aware not to involve in any activities in the future that violates the environmental rules and regulations.

Moreover, the company shall always display notifications in its offices to spread awareness among the employees to not involve in any activities that violate the environmental laws and regulations.

Disclosure 401-1: Trading.com, in the recent future has received considerable success in business. It has surpassed itself by overcoming its capacity to hire. In the last few months, the sales of the Trading.com has gone up dramatically and it has started operating from the biggest cities of Australia. In order to cope up with these dramatic changes, it was necessary for the company to hire people with little or no experience. There have been problems arising due to the inexperience of the consultants, but the company has no other way to find solution to the problem. Over the last few months there have been several new hiring and also several people who had left the company. This happens primarily due to the communication gap that remains between the management and the consultants (Hahn, Preuss, Pinkse & Figge, 2014). This can be reduced by the proper training of both the managers and the consultants and removing the communication gap between them. According to Longoni and Cagliano (2015), the changes in the management structure and the introduction of a more transparent and effective way, which would increase the interpersonal communication among the employees can retain a larger number of customers for the company.

Disclosure 406-1: There have been no reported events of discrimination that has taken place in the offices. However, as has been discussed earlier, that due to the communication gap between the management systems, there prevails autocratic regimes in the management, which expects the consultants to agree with them in every decision. Anyone failing to do so can fall into the bad books of the management, which can land him or her into trouble (Dees, 2017). The company codes follow a strict code against discrimination. The company shall further look into the matters about the existence of any little speck of discrimination in any of the offices and make sure to eradicate them. This again can be done by increasing the interpersonal communication between the staff. Moreover, due to the high competition between the consultants, besides creating the rapid growth in sales has a negative impact on the office environment, which means jealousy against each other (Beckmann, Hielscher & Pies, 2014). Such behaviours compel them to achieve more customers, but according to the customer feedback, the displeasure of the customers has been highlighted due to the poor customer service mentality of the staffs.

Disclosure 413-1: The office tries to hire and engage people from the local community, so as to maintain its corporate responsibility. According to Doh and Tashman (2014), it encourages the participation of the people from the local communities and tries to hire them accordingly. Moreover, the company also takes part in active social programs which work for the benefit of the society. The community works, organised by the different NGOs to uplift of the society has an active support from the company.

Conclusion:

The above discussion highlights the key aspects in the sustainability report for Trading.com. An Australia based share trading and training company, it has to maintain and take several steps to ensure its sustainability towards the key elements that is economic, environmental and social. For maintaining the economic sustainability, the company has to focus primarily upon some of the internal issues of the company which highlight, an autocratic management system which needs to be modified in to order to create a sustainable economic balance. The company also tries to participate in several environmental activities and promote environmental sustainability in order to maintain its corporate responsibility. Moreover, the company has also taken several measures to reduce the use of power in the office uses and contribute to a greener society. Thirdly, the company has some internal regarding the social sustainability regarding hiring and retention of staffs which shall be worked upon by the company.

References:

Beckmann, M., Hielscher, S., & Pies, I. (2014). Commitment strategies for sustainability: how business firms can transform trade?offs into win–win outcomes. Business Strategy and the Environment, 23(1), 18-37.

Benn, S., Edwards, M., & Williams, T. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge.

Boons, F., & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2013). Business models for sustainable innovation: state-of-the-art and steps towards a research agenda. Journal of Cleaner production, 45, 9-19.

Boons, F., Montalvo, C., Quist, J., & Wagner, M. (2013). Sustainable innovation, business models and economic performance: an overview. Journal of Cleaner Production, 45, 1-8.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Dees, J. G. (2017). 1 The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship. In Case Studies in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (pp. 34-42). Routledge.

Doh, J. P., & Tashman, P. (2014). Half a world away: The integration and assimilation of corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and sustainable development in business school curricula. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 21(3), 131-142.

Epstein, M. J. (2018). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts. Routledge.

Hahn, T., Preuss, L., Pinkse, J., & Figge, F. (2014). Cognitive frames in corporate sustainability: Managerial sensemaking with paradoxical and business case frames. Academy of Management Review, 39(4), 463-487.

Longoni, A., & Cagliano, R. (2015). Environmental and social sustainability priorities: Their integration in operations strategies. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 35(2), 216-245.

Malhotra, A., Melville, N. P., & Watson, R. T. (2013). Spurring impactful research on information systems for environmental sustainability. MIS Quarterly, 37(4), 1265-1274.

Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M. (2017). Managing the business case for sustainability: The integration of social, environmental and economic performance. Routledge.

Schaltegger, S., Hansen, E. G., & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2016). Business models for sustainability: Origins, present research, and future avenues.

Sidiropoulos, E. (2014). Education for sustainability in business education programs: a question of value. Journal of cleaner production, 85, 472-487.

Williams, S., & Schaefer, A. (2013). Small and medium?sized enterprises and sustainability: Managers' values and engagement with environmental and climate change issues. Business Strategy and the Environment, 22(3), 173-186.

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