The importance of SMEs to sustainability cannot be understated. The cumulative impacts of small to medium-size companies are considerable – According to Global Reporting Initiative, SMEs make up more than 90% of businesses worldwide. They also account for 50% of all countries GDPs and for 60% of their employment on average. Given their combined influence their impact on the environment and society are substantial and merit further attention. GRI have provided more guidance to SMEs to help them with Sustainability efforts. We aim to use our knowledge and experience in the field of Sustainability to help SMEs develop process within their business and to deliver the Sustainability reports at the end of their financial years. The following are some of the benefits identified for SMEs in adopting Sustainability Reporting:
- Enhance reputation, achieve trust and respect of key stakeholders by disclosure of what goes well and also on where there is room for improvement in the manner in which the SMEs affects or is affected by environmental and social issues.
- Ability to attract funding, since the providers of financial capital are asking tough questions of companies these days. Lending institutions and investors increasingly take into consideration performance in different aspect of sustainability issues when evaluating companies.
Traditionally, integrated reporting is perceived to be designed for large and multinational enterprises. However, we believe that the principles of integrated reporting could add value to SMEs through the development of integrated thinking in the manner in which they conduct business. Integrated reporting is critical in explaining how a business creates value. Being able to excel in telling your value creation story will be an increasing source of competitive advantage. We view integrated reporting as far more than just a reporting framework, but as a strategic tool to help companies create value as well as tell the story of how value is created more effectively in order to win trust and secure reputation.