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How to Craft a Winning Sustainability Report

It seems that the most successful sustainability reports are creative, educational, engaging, easy to read, and include elements like colorful infographics, based on the winners of the Corporate Register Reporting Awards. The Corporate Register reviewed 160 corporate responsibility and sustainability reports from 76 different global organizations, evaluating factors such as creativity, whether its message was communicated well for its particular audience, and whether it was easy to read.

Carnival Corporation’s 100-page 2015 Sustainability from Ship to Shore report ranked first in the “Creativity in Communication” category for its “colorful and educational infographics and easy-to-understand messaging;” the report focused on its newly established 2020 sustainability goals and the progress the corporation has made so far.

Infographic from Carnival Sustainability report

Additionally, the winning report included a special section on carbon disclosure, which was recognized in the Best Carbon Disclosure Report category. The report contained clear policy, quantified data and targets on corporate carbon emissions.

Some tips to creating an effective report:
–Consider all stakeholders who will be interested in what you’re communicating, and outline the stakeholders in the report. Carnival geared its report not only toward its customers, but toward employees, travel agents, partners and investors.

–Include infographics. The Carnival report used colorful, easy-to-understand images to illustrate its initiatives and progress.

–Creativity is key. Carnival’s Ship to Shore report positioned itself as an “adventure,” inviting readers to “cruise with us, enjoy the exhilaration of ocean travel, and be a part of our sustainability journey.”

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