are bringing us closer to planetary boundaries and dangerous tipping points. Despite much ESG investing and corporate sustainability reporting, actual environmental impacts have changed little.
We propose a new approach to corporate sustainability reporting that transparently captures drivers of environmental impacts. It contributes to ongoing efforts to standardize and regulate corporate sustainability reporting.
We develop 15 “Essential Environmental Impact Variables” (EEIVs), starting with seven primary industries, which capture the most essential information on key environmental impacts of those industries at local and global scales. By focusing on what is most essential, we could reduce reporting burden whilst providing more meaningful information.
Grounded in scientific review and evidence, the EEIVs enable context-specific and comparable reporting of corporate activities. Whilst simple and feasible to report, they also provide useful information about complex system dynamics, including interactions between different environmental processes.
To develop the framework, we started with seven primary industries where most environmental impacts in the economy take place. Future work would seek to expand them more broadly.