Key Concepts: The Role of Internal Controls

Keep an eye open for a discussion of internal controls in sustainability reports. They help to control the process of gathering and reporting of information to ensure errors are not made. Two important types of controls are

• process controls, which give direction to carrying out the reporting steps; and
• responsibility controls, which assign tasks to specific individuals.

The entire set of controls that an organization uses is referred to as a control system. Control systems can be specified by an external organization such as ISO 14000, developed internally and customized to meet the organization’s needs, or both.