Helping companies achieve their sustainable energy objectives

Mandatory and volutary reporting

The reporting landscape for climate and energy-related indicators continues to evolve with new environmental legislation and greater expectations for voluntary disclosure. That’s why your integrated energy strategy must be supported by a reporting infrastructure that meets internal requirements alongside mandatory and voluntary reporting schemes.

What you should be aiming for:

  • Reporting that matures over time using more granular and more frequent data;
  • Reporting that is meaningful to the relevant audiences;
  • Meeting mandatory and voluntary external reporting requirements in a manner that adds value.

Learn about the role that reporting plays in strengthening Phillips’ energy strategy

Reporting that matures over time

As a company’s data management program evolves, data becomes more granular and more frequently available. Plotting your current situation and the desired level of ambition on the reporting frontiers diagram will help to guide your pathway. Progressing to the outer segments will involve more frequent and more granular reporting, which means that stakeholders can take more regular and more targeted actions to improve implementation of the integrated energy strategy.

Defining requirements so that reporting is meaningful to the audience

The ability to report on the progress and success of your integrated energy strategy at multiple levels of the company and to a variety of external audiences is a valuable capability that will accelerate strategy implementation.

Your reporting should consider the targets you have set. When determining which indicators to report on, you can use the Reporting Exchange’s ESG Indicator Library.

You can also use dashboards to provide simple and useful information to executive management and other internal or external stakeholders that you have defined as being critical in strategy implementation.

To understand internal reporting requirements, think back to the energy strategy governance section and the company functions for which you have defined roles and responsibilities.

Work with them to go through a judgment process. You can use WBCSD’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Disclosure Handbook to structure the judgement process with six key questions and three key steps.

Key questions include For each of the key questions, consider the following steps
  1. Why report ESG information?
  2. For whom should ESG information be reported?
  3. Where should ESG information be reported?
  4. What ESG information should be reported?
  5. How should ESG information be prepared and presented?
  6. How much ESG information should be reported?
  1. Evaluate all the potential options in a neutral, objective manner;
  2. Decide the approach based on an evaluation process, together with assumptions and opinions of executive management and experts;
  3. Document the process followed, any uncertainties, limitations and sensitivities, as well as the conclusions reached.

Understanding mandatory and voluntary external reporting requirements

As the external reporting landscape evolves, it’s important to understand the need for and value of various reporting requirements. This will help to focus effort and resources on the requirements that will reduce risk and improve reputation.

When assessing and prioritizing reporting schemes, consider:

Obligation: is it ‘mandatory’, ‘voluntary’ or ‘comply or explain’?
Risks: what are the risks of not responding, or providing a sub-optimal response?
Opportunities: what are the opportunities and benefits associated with investing additional resources in responding?
Effort: how much resources and time is required to provide an optimal response?
Stakeholders: what do your colleagues, customers, suppliers, investors and competitors think?

Companies can refer to the Reporting Exchange which has information on reporting requirements from over 70 countries to understand mandatory and voluntary reporting requirements and resources for specific countries, sectors or subjects.


  • Report regularly at different levels of the company in a format, timing and frequency that is suited to the audience, so that reporting leads to action.
  • Prioritize reporting requirements by assessing the risks, opportunities, effort required and concerns of stakeholders.
  • Allocate sufficient resources to respond to high-priority reporting requirements.

  • How will your company review and report progress against your integrated energy strategy?
  • Does internal reporting allow you to transparently communicate progress?
  • Does data insight inform action?
  • Do colleagues understand the process?
  • Do you respond to external voluntary reporting benchmarks or frameworks?
  • Which reporting benchmarks and frameworks do your stakeholders consider to be most important?

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