The pace at which corporate sustainability reporting will evolve is highly uncertain. Indeed, given the current state of environmental reporting, it may seem like a distant vision. Yet the same could have been said about environmental reporting a decade ago. And with the emergence of sustainability as the dominant paradigm for future development, it may well be that corporate sustainability reporting takes hold with an intensity and durability that surprises even the skeptics. For this to happen, such reporting will need a far more definitive framework than environmental reporting has now. The many reporting initiatives that have appeared in the last decade offer valuable insights into how such a framework may evolve.
Originally published in Environment 41, no. 8 (October 1999): 31-42.