New trends in sustainability reporting: the Oil&Gas sector
Traditionally, the annual report was the main method of communication used to transmit information regarding a company’s activities. In the early ‘80s a widespread sensitiveness towards the preservation of the environment started to develop, and companies began drawing up environmental reports. During the following two decades this awareness extended to the principles of sustainable development. As a result, sustainability reports have become increasingly popular, and they currently represent the ideal tool to monitor the environmental, social and economic performances of an organization. This process has generated the need to establish a common global framework of sustainability reporting and for this purpose various recommendations and guidelines have been published. Oil&Gas companies, whose activities have important impacts on all the sustainability aspects, were among the first enterprises that disclosed information about their sustainability performances in response to stakeholder demands. Current trends in Oil&Gas sustainability communication suggest that we are entering a new phase of reporting that places greater emphasis on key information. In fact, communication in this sector has evolved from extensive hard copy reports, to short reports providing core information and key indicators, better suited to stakeholder demands. This evolution was fostered by the use of the Internet, which provides new opportunities for the companies’ sustainability communication.