Profile

Financial Report Sustainability Report

The Profile provides a description of the following organizational characteristics:

  • operations
  • types of products
  • facility locations
  • size

Often, similar information is presented in an Organization Profile found in  a sustainability report.  However, additional information will include major social and environmental impacts that the organization faces.

Some organizations also include a Report Profile. The Report Profile will discuss the context of the report:

  • approach
  • parameters
  • scope
  • limitations (if certain facilities are included)

What Happens in Practice?

Barrick is a global producer of minerals based in Canada. Their Company Profile describes several characteristics of the company that illustrates its potential impacts and also includes a Report Profile providing information on the context in which the report has been prepared. Click here to view the characteristics and information provided.
Fast Facts
How many companies provide profiles?

Based on a sample of nearly 500 of the largest corporations in the world, corporate and report profiles are found in nearly every sustainability report.

  • 80 percent included a Corporate Profile; and
  • 85 percent included a Report Profile.

– Source: CSR Trends 2010

What Stakeholders Say…about Profiles

“Providing the context helps gauge comparability. Talking about water withdrawal in Southern Alberta or California, where water is scarce, is a lot different than talking about water withdrawal in Quebec or the northeastern United States.”

“Companies will discuss their impacts on the communities and how they are offsetting any negative impacts. So that information definitely influences me. Now there are a number of companies working in developing countries. I check to see if they are hiring local people rather than bringing in people from the home country. So the geographical location of their operations is important.”

– Quotes from Stakeholders

Takeaway

Both the Organization Profile and Report Profile will assist the reader in understanding the report’s parameters:

  • the context in which the report is written;
  • the organization’s impacts; and
  • the extensiveness of the report.

Due to less sophisticated information systems, organizations producing their first report will often have a narrower scope and may not include all operations in their report.

For example, check to see if all foreign operations are included in the report. If not, look for an explanation as to why they are not.

(See the Credibility and Performance modules for more detail)