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A Guide to Sustainability Reporting – Creating the Report

Copylab 14 March 2024

by Jen Causton and Sarah Libralato

laundry list | noun

  • A long or exhaustive list of people or things

How are you getting on with your sustainability reporting plans? Last time we talked about all the things you might need to make a start, such as gathering and getting buy-in from your working group.

In our experience, we’ve found that framing the purpose of the report has really helped us to get going. Keeping in mind the objectives also helps when wading through existing material which may be helpful – or may take you off on a tangent!

So, are you ready for the next set of our laundry list of considerations?

Data Gathering

  • Internal sources. What data do you need – and which teams can help? Does the data need processing further to satisfy required metrics?
  • Identify the gaps in data or requirements and make sure they are disclosed. And think about how you can address these inconsistencies for next time!
  • Allow plenty of time for the relevant teams to collect and parse the data – and for you to draft explanations around the data.
  • External sources. Are you working with any consultants or ESG ratings providers to track voting, financed and firm emissions, for example? Let them know that you are working on your company’s sustainability report as they may be able help with fine-tuning or explaining any complex methodologies underpinning the data.

Creating the report

Set the scene

  • Purpose of the report – it sounds obvious, but sustainability reports are all about transparency.
  • Your firm’s approach to sustainability. How is this reflected across the business units? Explain any inconsistencies.
  • Has the firm set any targets? Have any new policies been implemented or changes in corporate behavior? Detail any progress over the year.

Top tip: make the distinction between firm level and fund level commitments.

Your ESG initiatives – at a company level


  • What are the firm’s sustainability-related ambitions? And how do these fit in with the business strategy?
  • What progress has been made on any objectives?

For example, did the firm:

  • Integrate ESG considerations across more investment processes?
  • Reduce operational emissions?
  • Increase the use of renewables?
  • Or increase the diversity among senior management?

Top tip: be transparent.  What steps are being taken to mitigate risk? Heatmaps are a useful way to reflect likelihood and impact. Link it back to your sustainability goals for added authenticity.

Your people

  • What is your DE&I strategy, goals and commitments?
  • How are these reflected in company KPIs?
  • Does the company have any staff turnover metrics?
  • How does the company nurture talent?


  • Oversight of ESG management – both at firm and fund level.
  • Are there any firm-wide policies?
  • Is the company involved in any initiatives such as the Net Zero Asset Management initiative or Climate Action 100 Plus?
  • Overview of voting and engagement activity.

Top tip: use real-world examples. Any involvement in community initiatives can be a great opportunity to add depth and relatability.

Ready for more? Tune in next week to find out how to turn your report into a powerful marketing tool.