We remain committed to improving business performance with the goal of sustainable development
Sustainable Development is a concept of key significance to modern businesses. However, it also presents a great challenge to them. Sustainable Development constitutes an integrated business approach, aimed at generating value for all the stakeholders (shareholders, employees, clients, suppliers, local community, state authorities, etc.) in line with creating innovative competitive advantage.
Sustainable Development issues are of growing concern to analysts, investors and international capital markets. According to "Bloomberg Sustainable Business & Finance Survey”, conducted in 2018, 76% of entities, operating in Europe, had stated that sustainability performance will constitute a significant criterion in investors’ decision-making.
Why should businesses comply with sustainable development principles and strategies?
Decreasing expenses and reducing risks
Internal procedures are carried out more efficiently, making the most limited use of resources and energy, while increasing productivity. Moreover, the risk of sanctions or fines imposed for environmental, human or labor rights issues is reduced.
Attracting investors / Access to financing
The “Global Sustainable Investment Review 2018” released by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance reveals that globally managed total assets, committed to sustainable, responsible or ethical investment strategies, increased by 34% within two years. The trend suggests that there is a significant shift in investors’ interest in socially responsible companies, since such enterprises are recognized as those demonstrating lower exposure to risks and, at the same time, recording better growth prospects.
Increasing sales and clients’ satisfaction
Consumers are further and further showing their interest in the way businesses address the particular issues. GlobeScan Radar/BBMG Survey reveals that 52% of respondents estimate that they have already "punished" a company that acted irresponsibly in respect of environmental or social matters. Thus, communicating Corporate Responsibility strategies is an issue of great significance.
Satisfying employees and partners
The corporate culture is being adapted and diffused throughout the organization, improving employees’ engagement levels. At the same time, new channels of communication are created with customers, suppliers and the wider society, in order to effectively respond their needs and expectations.
Ensuring business success
An organization sets a sustainable base for long-term economic success, effectively enhancing its contribution to addressing environmental and social issues. The organization strengthens its professional reputation, ensuring an additional competitive edge.
Protecting the environment
This issue goes beyond just feeling "good" about the environment. Among the many benefits are cost reduction, especially in terms of energy consumption, increased recognition of the company for its environmentally friendly efforts, which help its brand, but also gaining a lead over the competition, leading to attracting new customers looking for products and services from environmentally friendly companies.
Businesses that remain committed to the principles and strategies of sustainable development, improve their:
- Competitive advantage
- Brand image
- Mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders
- Employees’ engagement
- Value generated and distributed to all the stakeholders
- Legislative compliance
Businesses that remain committed to the principles and strategies of sustainable development, reduce:
- Environmental risks
- Social risks
- Operating costs
- Risks associated with health and safety at work
- Deviations from legislation regarding all the pillars of Corporate Responsibility
- Supply chain risks
- Governance risks
How we can support your strategic plan
We acknowledge the significance of sustainability in developing a strong business strategy. Therefore, we undertake a leading role in its understanding and implementation, at a global level.
We support businesses in management of risks and opportunities related to non-financial issues and implementation of best practices in order to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment, the people and the society.
Preparation of Non-financial / Sustainable Development Reporting
Starting from 2017, listed entities, employing over 500 people in Greece, are obliged to publish Sustainability Reports in accordance with international standards and reporting frameworks, in order to inform the stakeholders about their effects and performance.
Grant Thornton provides advisory services, ensuring high quality for the preparation of Sustainability Report regarding all the business industries. In the last 5 years, our team of experts prepared over 70 Sustainability Reports, in line with international standards and guidelines such as GRI, AA1000, EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, UN Global Compact, Greek sustainability Code, and ISO 26000. Our services include:
- Sustainable Development Report (annual/ biennial) based on international GRI Standards
- Communication on Progress Report (UN Global Compact & SDGs)
- Integrated Reporting
- Non-Financial Statement
Non-Financial Issues - Materiality Analysis
Evaluating the substantial issues of a business is the basis of Sustainability Reports and a valuable tool in setting out business strategy. Grant Thornton has developed its own methodology and materiality analysis tool, assisting companies to identify all the significant issues related to their operations - issues that may significantly affect not only their economic, environmental and social performance, but their corporate reputation just as well. Our services include:
- Materiality workshops
- Benchmarking and competition analysis
- Preparation of materiality matrix
- Online stakeholders’ surveys (survey monkey)
- Overall evaluation of significant issues
Environmental Responsibility & Climate Change
Businesses are constantly called upon to assess and manage their environmental impact, since non-compliance with environmental legislation and regulations entails having to address financial risks. Furthermore, monitoring the impact of a company's operations on the environment is an essential criterion to meet stakeholder expectations regarding climate change and transparency of the respective information. Grant Thornton executives understand environmental, business, financial and technical issues and help you identify and comprehend the new demanding environmental protection framework. Our services include:
- Preparing studies on energy and energy consumption analysis
- Designing energy efficiency improvement plans
- Recording carbon dioxide footprint
- Planning Environmental Policy
- Planning Sustainable Travel Policy
- Evaluating investments in RES
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
- Climate change risk analysis
- Certifications of gaseous pollutant emissions
External Verification / Assurance Report
The fact that the procedures, applied under the preparation of a Report - as well as its content - are certified by an independent auditor, significantly increases the reliability of such a Report. Grant Thornton certified auditors examine the extent to which the presentation of corporate performance is well balanced and meets the reporting requirements, carefully evaluating validity and documentation of the data included in the Report. Sustainability assurance services are implemented in a transparent and systematic manner, following the procedures defined in international standards (ISAE 3000, AA1000 AS etc.). Our services include:
- Independent Non-Financial Information Assurance Report under ISAE 3000
- Proposals for improving the Corporate Responsibility Report
- Review and evaluation of procedures and controls
Responsible Supply Chain Management
Developed markets of Europe and the USA require promoting and disclosing the issues related to responsible business operations throughout the corporate supply chain. To facilitate the preparation of a supply chain management plan/system, based on globally accepted sustainability standards and control structures, we emphasize the planning and control stages during the collaboration. Our services include:
- Responsible Procurement Policy Management or Supplier Code of Conduct
- Supplier evaluation methodology (scorecard) and risk identification in the supply chain
- Proposals for improvement based on ISO 20400: 2017 Sustainable Procurement guidelines
Sustainable Development Strategy
Sustainability changes the way businesses define and achieve their goals. Planning Sustainable Development strategy ensures development of the company’s corporate responsibility through setting appropriate and ambitious objectives and programs. It also provides an approach, according to which the companies will achieve maximum effect at minimum cost, since sustainability related risks are now inextricably linked to business risks.
Grant Thornton executives support the companies and enterprises, taking their first steps in planning their Sustainability strategy, as well as the companies that in the recent years have already set their goals. The latest survey conducted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reveals that 44% of companies have already assessed the connection between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their corporate strategy, while 41% of companies have already taken measures in order to integrate these Goals into their strategy. Our services include:
- Development of Strategy in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the international framework of ISO 26000 social responsibility guidelines
- Defining strategic action plan in term of 3 years / 5 years
- Targeting and performance monitoring indicators
- Review and proposals for improvement in corporate policies & procedures
Social Impact Assessment
Social impact assessment is gaining ground, proving to be another way - beyond the financial – to measure the social benefit of every investment. Applying our methodology and tools, we are in position to indicate how effectively a Company can use its funds and resources in order to create value for society or depict the essential value of the social actions that a company develops. Our services include:
- Social Return on Investment (SROI) Report
- CSR Social Impact Report
- Socio-economic impact of businesses
Seminars & Training Programs
Grant Thornton offers integrated training in sustainable development, enabling companies to better comprehend the broader context of sustainability, international reporting frameworks and best practices, through workshops and personalized examples. All the members of the participating team are actively involved in training, which aims at raising maximum awareness of sustainability issues. Our training programs include:
- Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development
- Integrated Reporting
- Environmental Awareness and Protection
- Health and Safety at Work
- Human and Labor Rights
- Responsible Supply Chain Management
- Good Corporate Governance
- Transparency and combating corruption
- Certificate of attendance issued by Grant Thornton and / or Certification issued by an international organization
Why Grant Thornton
Grant Thornton Greece recognizes the crucial role of sustainability in developing a strong business strategy. Therefore, we undertake a leading role in its understanding and implementation, at a global level. We support businesses in management of risks and opportunities related to non-financial issues and implementation of best practices in order to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment, the people and the society.