Responsible corporations are expected to be transparent. Sustainability reporting has become a de facto mandate for companies that want to be considered good corporate citizens. With all this emphasis on public disclosure, one might assume that reporting companies have metrics for everything that matters.
Unfortunately, that's far from true. In fact, the passion for external reporting may be leading companies to focus too much on what makes them look good to outsiders, rather than on the issues and risks that really matter to the organization.
Real transparency must begin on the inside, with clear channels of communication that go all the way to the top of the company. And it must ensure that top executives are not protected from awkward truths. This column explores the pitfalls of inadequate internal transparency and suggests steps that environmental and sustainability professionals should take to improve communication within their organizations.