6 ABOUT AUSLSA’S SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING Since 2009 AusLSA members have reported their environmental sustainability performance based on a consistent set of reporting criteria. Over the past four years member firms have progressively added social sustainability information until last year when the complete AusLSA sustainability reporting Framework was established. The purpose of the annual AusLSA reporting process is two-fold: 1. To increase the understanding and transparency of the social and environmental impacts of the Australian legal sector; 2. To provide a framework for AusLSA members and their stakeholders to track the sustainability status of their operations and the effectiveness of their sustainability initiatives. AusLSA’s sustainability reporting is unique. It is the only industry sustainability reporting system in Australia that uses common reporting scope, boundaries and methodologies. This is superior to traditional internal sustainability reporting, where firms will set their own scope and often use different methodologies, assumptions and factors. Today AusLSA reporting provides members with strong management and planning information based on consistent approaches and long-term time series data. It also provides their staff, customers and other interested stakeholders with detailed information on both individual and industry progress. Why do AusLSA members report? Our members are part of a growing business community who recognize how their social impact and the values they demonstrate contribute to their business strength and competitiveness. They also increasingly recognise that their employees and customers are also assessing the values they demonstrate and the purpose they pursue. AusLSA’s members believe that reporting is a key part of demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility. They understand that this reporting should align with and continually evolve to meet the best practice international models and the approaches taken by their key customers and competitors. A 2017 ACCSR Survey of 1,215 professionals from across corporate and government sectors found that assessing and reporting their impact and performance was their highest sustainability priority. The survey also showed that eighty-eight percent understood that sustainability reporting helped the reputation of their business and seventy-eight percent said it contributed to brand positioning. Other top responses from organisations prioritised increased engagement from leadership, stakeholders and staff and identification of opportunities for improvement. Public reporting is one method that AusLSA members use to articulate the common elements of their sustainability approach and to demonstrate their commitment to improve performance in these areas. All AusLSA members are different and will choose to prioritise their efforts based on their individual challenges, opportunities and preferences. However, the discipline of standardised and regular public reporting allows firms to not only monitor their progress against their own expectations but also to compare themselves against the standards and leadership within their peer group. This information can be used to manage the allocation of effort and management focus to improve in chosen areas. By reporting together, AusLSA shows industry stakeholders that its members are committed in collaborating to not only improve their individual sustainability outcomes but also to assume the broader responsibility and make a contribution to the sustainability of the legal sector as a whole.