Insights and knowledge: Sustainability report

– from our latest edition of ’Words & Numbers’

As we shared in ‘Words & Numbers 2021 (link to download below) there are some different ways to publish and distribute your sustainability report. In this article we’re going to share some of the insights and knowledge from our last survey that might come in handy when your company is going to publish your report.


Download the report here:


What was the format of your latest sustainability report?

Internet is the dominant distribution channel for sustainability reporting. According to our survey most often in the form of a PDF, but interactive and browsable PDFs are also used. 50 percent (61 in 2018) answer that they print the sustainability report. Just over 70 percent of respondents do not plan to use any other format or distribution channel for their next report.
a diagram from our last survey regarding format of sustainability report

How many hard copies do you print?

50 percent (61 in 2018) of the respondents print their sustainability report, and some choose to produce up to 10 000 copies. The average number of copies was 620. The decrease may be a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, making physical meetings almost impossible. If this number continues to decrease we will be able to see in our next survey.
diagram number of printed reports

How do you let others know your report is published?

The most common way to publish the sustainability report is by press release, thereafter sharing it on the company’s or organisation’s website, followed by social media. Examples of other ways are at the Annual General Meeting or as a Communication of progress to the UN Global Compact.
diagram from survey 2020

Do you measure the number of visitors and downloads?

Almost everyone publishes their sustainability report as a PDF on the web, but six out of 10 (same result as in 2018) never follow up on how many people download the report. 31 percent of the respondents, on the other hand, have measured the number of downloads for several years.
diagram sustainability report analyzing