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Sustainability Reporting

Reporting the sustainability performance of an organisation has become commonplace; whether it’s to demonstrate transparency to shareholders in the case of major companies or to meet a statutory duty, as NI’s councils must do, it is an accepted facet of today’s business environment.

Sustainable NI has developed a toolkit to help district councils assess how and to what extent they have integrated sustainability into their culture, policies and operational practices. Our Sustainability Audit Matrix, or SAM, has been designed to help make sustainable development more readily understood by examining the everyday work taking place within an organisation.

It deploys the existing expertise of a workforce and guides them to identify those projects, work streams and activities that are making a positive contribution to sustainability. At the same time, it will help an organisation to identify those areas in which further improvement can be made.

The Matrix was specifically designed for the needs of district councils and tailored to the work undertaken by those organisations; it was tested, revised and subsequently adopted by most of the legacy councils. With councils adopting fresh responsibilities, the SAM will be further sophisticated to meet those additional requirements.

The SAM provides a means by which councils may satisfy the sustainability component of the performance management obligations of the Local Government Act.

The Matrix has already been modified for use by other agencies, having been deployed by several public sector bodies to assess their sustainability performance against their own responsibilities.

View SAM briefing paper >

A second related tool, our Sustainability Assessment Tool – the SAT – can be used to screen the potential social, environmental and economic impacts of a council’s activities. It may be used at the design stage for new policies, programmes, strategies, action plans and projects. It may even be utilised to determine the possible impacts of a proposed event.

View briefing paper on the SAT >