Colombia is in the top 5 of the countries that report the most.

Having sustainable policies is one of the biggest challenges facing companies today. They seek to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for this there are standards of accountability in sustainability such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), used by large companies globally. Tim Mohin, GRI CEO spoke about the characteristics that sustainability reports should have, the concept of sustainability, among other issues.

Why talk about sustainability?

Sustainability is a variety of issues related to the environment, social, economic and government, when all this comes together, the idea is to build a better society and above all, to reflect some of our social values in trade and life of the companies.

What is the concept that companies should have about corporate sustainability?

Sustainability is a very broad topic and varies depending on the company because each company is different, sometimes two companies in the same sector can even become very different. What we have in GRI is a process through which each company evaluates its main priorities, we call it the materiality process. Through a meeting with the leaders of the company and with the stakeholders around it, we evaluate what they are looking for and thus manage to find the priority themes for them. They can be environmental, labor or a combination of several things. It is important that each company identify their individual priorities.

THE CONTRASTS

ANDREA PRADILLA

GRI DIRECTOR FOR LATIN AMERICA

“Sustainability in the country must be understood as a tool for competitiveness and for opening markets.”

Are Colombian companies prepared for sustainability?

There are between 1,500 and 2,000 large companies in Colombia, so it depends on the case. The good news is that among all the countries in the world that report, Colombia is in the top five of the countries that do the most. That is impressive if you consider the number of countries in the world. I believe that the fact that Colombia is in the top five is excellent news, it means that sustainability has permeated in this country.

What are the common failures that Colombian companies have in the matter?

It is not limited for Colombia, I would say many companies worldwide. I have worked in private sector companies for 20 years on sustainability issues and the main topics are that they reveal poor quality reports, incomplete, that do not make a good data management, the second difficulty is that they do not report the negative but only The positive. These two themes are really very common.

The third is that the information is not always presented in a way that is relevant to investors, they tend to look for in these reports more a matter of reputation or brand positioning and forget the fact that investors are interested and concerned about this information, they need to be precise, clear and concrete.

What would be the ideal way to present these sustainability reports?

There are four key points, it is important that the reports are: consistent, that is, based on international standards such as those of the GRI; concise, short; current, that do not report figures from several years ago; and comparable with the reports of the other companies in the same sector. A fifth would be oriented towards the future, somehow a forecast, that is, by virtue of what has happened so far, what will happen later, where the company is going and what impacts it will have in the future.

What is the path that Colombia must take to become a leader in the region?

There are a couple of things, in principle, I think it should have more regulation, especially the stock market, that companies should ask for the publication of the reports so that investors can be protected, who must have this information to make decisions. appropriate.

For those companies that are not in the stock market, the Government should also require the publication of the information. We must understand that regulation is an important point and since it works, it would help the level to rise, it is important that all companies have the same level of demand, that would make Colombia increasingly an increasingly attractive country for International investors Transparency in the data releases many of the obstacles and difficulties, since we all know that we are at the same level and with the same information.


Originally posted in Spanish at LaRepublica