Glossary

Financial Report Sustainability Report

Sometimes definitions for technical financial terms are provided in the annual report, but it is generally assumed that readers are financially astute and do not need this additional information.

Readers of sustainability reports vary in their technical knowledge, expertise, and understanding of sustainability far more than readers of financial reports. Therefore, organizations will often supply a glossary of terms to help understand technical terms in the report.

What Happens in Practice?

BHP Billiton, a resource commodities company, provides a detailed explanation of technical terms used in its report. Click here to view.
Nike, a sports apparel manufacturer headquartered in the United States, provides a succinct list of acronyms used in its report. Click here to view.

Takeaway

Glossaries lead to a fuller understanding of an organization’s performance, especially for those unfamiliar with the specific industry in which the organization belongs.