Type the words “corporate social responsibility report” into Google, and you’ll get pages upon pages of results that include these reports from large corporations such as General Mills, Coca-Cola, UPS, and more. Although corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports used to be optional, more and more businesses are recognizing the importance of producing the report on a yearly basis. Businesses that don’t create CSR reports are missing out on an opportunity to communicate their impact in an open and honest way that stakeholders today are demanding.

There’s no standard template for CSR reports, but after reading a few, you’ll start to notice a few trends as to what businesses include. Below, we list out the four areas that are commonly covered in CSR reports as well as what you’ll find in each section.

Environment/ Sustainability
Sustainability is a hot topic in the corporate world. It’s no secret that the manufacturing process leads to environmental devastation, and because of this, companies realize the importance of being more sustainable and preserving the earth for future generations. In the environmental and sustainability section of a CSR report, corporations are able to showcase the ways in which they’re working to be more sustainable. In this section, you’ll find information about environmental plans, sustainable products, resource efficiency, energy use, water use, and more.

Workplace/ Employee Health and Safety
Employees are a company’s biggest investment, which is why many companies choose to include a section dedicated to employees in their CSR report. The contents of this section vary from company to company, but CSR reports frequently cover areas such as company culture, how they create a dynamic workplace, diversity and inclusion, recruitment, employee well-being, and employee health and safety. Under health and safety, companies report their injury rates as well as what they’re doing to reduce injuries and illness in the workplace.

Sourcing/ Supply Chains
In recent years, stakeholders have become more concerned with how companies manage their supply chains. Businesses have noticed this interest, and in turn, many have added a sourcing or supply chain section to their CSR report. In this section, businesses address how they’re working with suppliers to address issues related to human rights, labor conditions, health and safety, environmental protection, supply chain management, and responsible sourcing.

Community
A CSR report wouldn’t be complete without addressing a company’s social impact on the community. This is the “warm and fuzzy” section of a CSR report because it talks about giving back to the community and building a better future. In the community section, companies often address their charitable giving, community partnerships, philanthropy work, and disaster recovery efforts. Additionally, you’ll also learn about the work they’re doing to build strong communities such as investing in education, donating to food banks, and volunteer work.