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PART A (50 marks) Body of the internal report
Assume that you are employed by a consumer watch group (CHOSEN) to assess sustainability performance of organisations. You have been assigned by your General Manager, Teresa Green, to assess Wesfarmers Limited. Wesfarmers Limited is an Australian conglomerate, headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, with interests predominantly in Australian and New Zealand retail, as well as in chemicals, fertilisers, coal mining and industrial and safety products.
The sustainability reports for 2014 and 2015 are accessible through the two links below
2014 report: http://www.wesresources.com.au/sustainability_report_2014/ 2015 report: http://www.wesresources.com.au/sustainability_report_2015/
Requirement for Part A
Provide an internal report to Teresa so she can combine it with reports about other companies that she will present to the board of directors. In your internal report (under a section named 'Wesfamers Comparison') assess and compare the 2014 sustainability report to the 2015 sustainability report in relation to the G4 GRI Guidelines. You should note areas of improved sustainability performance for the three aspects; economics, environmental and social (also considering the four (4) sub-categories of the social aspect) between the 2014 and the 2015 report. Try to think which of the guidelines would be most relevant to this business. Does the report contain targets? How detailed (well specified) are these targets?
You should also note (in the body of your report):
The self declared level of adherence and whether you agree that this is an appropriate description of the level. For justification of your choice please refer to the GRI G4 'in accordance' guidance.
Any guidelines followed in preparing the report (this should at least be GRI but may also include the standard AA1000AS or the UN Global Compact, or Industry Regulations/Guidelines)
Whether the report has been verified or not, and if so, who was the verifier (comment on the type of business e.g. Accountants/other specialist), and what is the scope of the assurance.
You will also need to download the G4 guidelines from the study desk, and other material you believe are helpful, free from the GRI website.
The body of your review and analysis does not need to cover all aspects of disclosure, but should be a general assessment with reference to the GRI Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures. You should use the GRI Guidelines themselves. The Guidelines give examples of tests for assessment (e.g., ability to compare year to year, use of benchmarks, etc).
A suggested layout is to use a table with the aspect of the report being assessed on the left e.g. completeness and your comments and conclusion on the right.
Comment on how 'user-friendly' you found the report. Was it easy to find the parts of the report relevant to a particular guideline? Was the report well referenced? Did it give a balanced view (negative as well as positive aspects)?
The key is to cover the main points (for this type of business) and to present it in a professional manner (full report format is not required BUT presentation should be businesslike and neat and references are required). However, this is a general overview rather than a complete detailed review of all possible aspects (see Useful links below for more information). Stick to core disclosures plus additional ones that seem relevant for this type of business. Use the GRI index provided by the company as a starting point – but be critical. What have they not covered? Have they appropriately identified things (issues) as material?
PART B Company's Sustainability reports comparison written in two countries (30 marks)
Secondly, as an employee of a consumer watch group, you are asked to make a comparison on the sustainability reporting by Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Limited. You note that Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Limited sustainability did release a 2014 report available on the websites Fxasustainability.Com.Au but not a 2015 report. You find that the 2015 sustainability report was produced by Fuji Xerox Head Office in Japan.
You notice some differences in the guidelines used for reporting and disclosure in its Japan 2015 sustainability report compared to the 2014 report produced in Australia.
Requirement for Part B
Provide in your internal report the following information under a separate section named 'Fuji Xerox comparison'
PART C Professional Writing style, Conclusions, and Recommendations (10 marks)
You are required to develop separate conclusions based solely on your analysis under (1) Part A for Wesfamers and (2) Part B for Fuji Xerox. Your recommendations you formulate must be then based on your conclusions (that is, no new discussion or analysis can be introduced into either your conclusions or your recommendations).
Your report writing, sentence structure, and grammar must be prepared in a highly professional manner and format.
PART D Reflective journal of personal development (10 marks)
Your reflective personal journal should be completed separately to the internal report BUT in the same Word document under the heading 'PART D Reflective journal of personal development'. Your writing should reflect on how your personal development has been aided by your completion of the two assessment tasks.
An example of a reflective journal will be provided on the ACC8801 study desk.
When completing your reflection journal on personal development, you should consider what you have learned by completing the various topics of the five (5) modules.
You also should reflect on how you could apply these learning outcomes to your current employment situation or to a real world situation that you are likely to experience in the near future. Specific prompts to help you through your reflective journal are provided in the marking criteria at the end of this document.
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The last few years have witnessed an exponential growth of the usage of sustainability in corporate websites. The success of an organisation depends on stakeholders with varies set of interests. Sustainability reporting acts as a medium through which companies streamline the demands of stakeholders. Information disclosure in the form of sustainability reporting allows companies to showcase their transparent nature, brand value, goodwill, competitive advantage, motivation for employees, benchmarking tool and support in the internal corporate decision-making process. Companies report their non-financial performance in terms of economic, environmental, social and governance through sustainability reports developed in accordance with the G4 GRI (The Global Reporting Initiative) guidelines which offers a framework for reporting. It helps companies to set goals, evaluate their performance and manage changes to carry out sustainable operations.
This report is divided into three sections. The first section analyses and compares the sustainability report of Wesfarmers Limited, published in 2014 and 2015. The sustainability performances are analysed based on the economic, environmental and social aspects. The reports are further compared with the G4 GRI Guidelines. The second part is the comparison of sustainability reports of Fuji Xerox published in Australia and Japan. This section details the guidelines used by the same company in different countries and compares the reports with G4 GRI Guidelines. The final section portrays the conclusion derived from this analysis and recommendations for the companies to develop the sustainability report according to the guidelines.