• Overview
    Sustainability reporting has evolved into an important component for businesses and organisations to demonstrate their commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges. Sustainability reporting is the process of assessing, revealing, and communicating a business’s environmental and social effect. It has grown in significance as customers, investors, and other stakeholders demand greater openness and responsibility from businesses. A number of issues contribute to the requirement for sustainability reporting. 
    Firstly, there is growing demand for corporations to show they are serious about sustainability. As consumers become more aware of the environmental and social impacts of their purchases, they show a marked preference for patronising sustainable firms (PR Newswire, 2014). Investors are pushing for more ESG-related information in order to assess the long-term viability of their holdings. (Weber et al., 2014)  added , businesses can use sustainability reporting as a tool to better understand where they can improve their sustainable practises. Businesses may improve their sustainability practises and have a smaller impact on the world by tracking and reporting on their social and environmental impacts. Greenhouse gas mitigation strategies may include boosting energy efficiency, cutting waste, and improving social and labour laws.
    As a third benefit, sustainability reporting can help build trust and credibility among key constituencies. Businesses may show their dedication to sustainability and win over customers, investors, and other stakeholders by being forthright about their efforts and results in the sustainability realm. Such positive outcomes include a stronger social licence to operate, stronger brand loyalty, and happier customers. Lastly, agreeing with (Kücükgül et al., 2022; Tate et al., 2010) from a regulatory standpoint, sustainability reporting is gaining significance. Governments across the globe are proposing new legislation and policies aimed at encouraging sustainability and combating climate change. The failure to comply with these standards can result in monetary fines and reputational harm.
    A number of reporting systems and standards have been established to satisfy the increasing need for sustainability reporting. The most generally recognised framework for sustainability reporting is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards (GRI – Standards, n.d.), which give a comprehensive set of rules for assessing and reporting a company’s sustainability performance. In addition, there are the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) (“SASB – How Companies Can Use SASB – ESG Reporting,” n.d.) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)(Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures | TCFD), n.d.).
    Various firms utilise different reporting formats and metrics, making it difficult for stakeholders to compare and evaluate the sustainability performance of other enterprises. As per the findings of (Nigri & Baldo, 2018), another difficulty is the expense and resources necessary to execute sustainability reporting. As stated by (Momchilov, 2022), assessing and reporting on sustainability performance can be a complicated and time-consuming process that may include substantial investments in data collecting, reporting tools, and staff resources. This is especially problematic for smaller firms and organisations with limited resources.
    According to (Bradford et al., 2017; Godha & Jain, 2015), sustainability reporting is gaining importance for firms and organisations seeking to demonstrate their commitment to environmental, social, and governance challenges. It can help firms identify areas for improvement, establish confidence and trust with stakeholders, and comply with regulatory obligations. While there are some obstacles connected with sustainability reporting, the benefits far exceed the expenses, and firms that refuse to address sustainability issues risk being left behind in an increasingly sustainability-focused society.
  • Target Selection and Associated Indicator Target 12.6:
    Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
    Indicator 12.6.1:
    Number of companies publishing sustainability reports (Goal 12 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs, n.d.).
    According to (Westerholz & Höhler, 2022), corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been of paramount importance to the dairy industry. While extensive research has been undertaken on the CSR practises of investor-owned dairy companies, the role of co-ops in promoting sustainability has been largely overlooked. Yet, given that co-operatives are member-based organisations, it is possible that these dairies lay a greater emphasis on sustainability than their investor-owned counterparts.
    To fill this gap in the literature, (Westerholz & Höhler, 2022) examined the CSR reports and websites of thirteen German dairies, differentiating between co-operative and investor-owned firms. The study adjusted current criteria for evaluating the quality and substance of sustainability reporting in the dairy industry, and our findings suggest that cooperative dairies report on sustainability issues in a more comprehensive and superior manner. The results shed insight on the organisational form-specific inequalities in dairy industry sustainability reporting. Cooperative dairies are more likely to encourage sustainability and provide full reports on their efforts. By highlighting areas in which dairy companies may become more sustainable, the analysis can help encourage more responsible and sustainable practises in the dairy industry.
    An essential tool, the Sustainability Report compares and contrasts the performance of different farming methods in terms of their economic, environmental, and social impacts. To ensure that the report’s methodology continues to reflect the internationally accepted standard for calculating the included metrics, it must be updated throughout time (Buckley & Donnellan, 2021).  As the world becomes increasingly aware of the importance of sustainable agriculture, the report’s value will only continue to grow. In addition, the report can help identify areas where improvements can be made in farming practices to reduce negative impacts on the environment, society, and the economy. By doing so, stakeholders can have confidence in the report’s findings and use them to make informed decisions. As such, the sustainability report will continue to play a vital role in shaping the future of agriculture by encouraging sustainable farming practices that benefit both the environment and society.
  • Importance and Need for Sustainability Reporting
    In recent years, there has been an increase in the importance of reporting on the sustainability of corporations; nevertheless, there are issues regarding the effectiveness and validity of such reporting in actually improving sustainability practises. As per (Paula-Carmen & Dorin-Paul, 2019) , these statements should be viewed with care until they can be independently tested, notwithstanding the fact that the Irish dairy industry has made significant progress in reducing carbon emissions and strengthening animal welfare standards.
    In addition, although sustainability reporting has the potential to provide information to stakeholders, there are concerns surrounding the veracity and openness of this reporting. When it comes to comparing and verifying the sustainability claims made by companies, the absence of standardised metrics and independent auditing can be problematic. Even though sustainability reporting can be helpful in identifying areas for development, it is vital to question whether or not organisations are actually committed to making changes, or whether or not they are simply making empty promises to sustainability in order to improve their reputation (Malay, 2021).
    Because while sustainability reporting has the potential to be an efficient tool for promoting environmentally responsible practises, it should not be seen as a silver bullet for solving environmental, social, and governance problems. In order to effectively drive significant change in the Irish dairy sector and beyond, sustainability reporting requires independent verification, established measurements, and a sincere commitment to sustainability.
  • Glanbia Performance Nutrition : Optimum Nutrition Brand
    Glanbia is a global nutrition company whose goal is to provide better nutrition at every stage of life. With giving importance to working together every day for the good of business, people, and the world. There work is a response to the nutritional needs of people today and their desire to live a more balanced life by making healthy choices.
    The Glanbia Group comprises three divisions: Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Glanbia Nutritional’s, and Joint Ventures like Mike Durkin, president and chief executive of Leprino Foods said: “Having successfully partnered with Glanbia since 2000, we are proud of the high-quality business that we have helped build (Glanbia’s Optimum Nutrition Becomes Company’s First Billion Dollar Brand, n.d.)
    Glanbia Performance Nutrition products such as Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder (Protein Page, n.d.) would be the investigation of choice for the target and indicator chosen, since the papers and reports retrieved have provided evidence that this corporation adheres to sustainability goals and has expended in business methods. Glanbia’s model relates to the Health Sector, which is a growing nutrition market, and the company has taken efforts to be a resilient supply chain with capital resources, financial control, quality management, and risk management. Consumers increasingly incorporate sustainability into their purchasing decisions, including a demand for more sustainable packaging styles and a heightened understanding of the environmental impact of their consumption. As per the company reports, Glanbia will guarantee that sustainability remains a central tenet in their business strategy (Sustainability Reporting, n.d.).
    3.1 Whey Protein Product
    With news reports stating Glanbia’s Optimum Nutrition becomes company’s first billion dollar brand which is a Kilkenny-based food group announces record revenue of €5.6 billion for last year on back of strong sales of its performance nutrition products (Glanbia’s Optimum Nutrition Becomes Company’s First Billion Dollar Brand, n.d.). The selection of whey protein products is based on the dairy industry’s massive production of whey as a by- or co-product, which has caused significant environmental issues due to its high organic matter concentration. For the past several decades, researchers have examined the potential for more environmentally and economically effective whey utilisation, especially to convert undesired end products into valuable raw materials (Zandona et al., 2021).
    Functional foods and beverages are one of the most ambitious and inventive food categories, and they continue to pique the curiosity of many consumers since they provide health advantages beyond basic nutrition. Whey and its components are becoming more popular as functional ingredients in dietary and health products, whilst bioactive proteins are becoming more popular in the pharmaceutical and nutritional industries(Papademas & Kotsaki, 2020). Whey products are becoming more popular due to their high levels of lactose, proteins, and minerals. Whey and whey residues have a very high biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) due to their nutrient-rich composition (Dairy – Paving the Whey – Transforming Dairy Waste – Teagasc | Agriculture and Food Development Authority, n.d.). 
    3.2 Whey Products Sustainability Findings 
    According to the findings of (Buchanan et al., 2023.; Zandona et al., 2021) , the dairy sector’s sustainability reporting has a large ecological imprint on the earth’s ecosystems, and public pressure compels the dairy business to reconsider their whey management. Europe is the total dairy processing leader, and thus the largest whey producer. The cheese business produces over 115 million tonnes of whey each year, with 47% of it being disposed of straight in drains, generating major environmental contamination problems . Whey is widely regarded as a major polluting by-product due to its high BOD and COD levels (Barukčić et al., 2019). The contaminating propensity of whey has prompted countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union to enact severe environmental protection legislation against incorrect whey disposal and in favour of its long-term utilisation. Due to newly created markets for whey proteins and regulatory limitations based on the EU Landfill Regulation 1999/31/EC, landfill dumping of cheese whey has also been prohibited in Europe. These stringent regulations spurred the dairy industry to investigate alternative approaches and prospects for dairy wastewater treatment (Saxton & McDougal, 2021).
    The sustainability reporting of whey products is done through guided materiality assessments on where to prioritise, they have developed a robust and ambitious approach to  ESG strategy. This strategy sets out targets and actions focused on Climate and Environment, People, Communities and Performance and Value Creation. They advance with intent and contribute to the delivery of global goals, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) and the Paris Agreement. Supported by expert external advisors and aligned to the SDGs, they have taken a rigorous approach to measuring impacts through data, baselining, and risk assessments, setting a clear strategy, and aligning to science-based targets or other relevant external benchmarks. In doing so they are committed to keeping our stakeholders informed with Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”) aligned reporting, Carbon Disclosure Project(“CDP”) disclosures, as well as our annual Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (“TCFD”) and  other Non-Financial Reporting. (Cadogan, 2021; Sustainability Reporting, n.d.; The Hard Yards on the Path to Sustainability, 2023).
  • Discussion and Conclusion
    The goal of choosing the sustainability reporting target was to see how organisations, particularly large and multinational corporations, adopted sustainable practises and integrated sustainability information into their reporting cycle. Glanbia was chosen as the company because it is in the health sector, which is a growing market, and the company has worked hard to build a resilient supply chain with capital resources, financial control, quality management, and risk management. Upon researching the firm’s profile and key investments, the company has heavily invested in nutritional products, with Whey-based protein products being one of the most nutrient-dense. Environmental issues have been alleviated by investigating the development of Whey and transforming it into healthy products. According to (Zandona et al., 2021), whey is disposed of in big manufacturing plants, governments have legislated whey disposal, which has spurred the dairy sector to investigate alternative ways and prospects for dairy waste management. Because of its high pollutant capacity, whey reuse and recycling has become a major scientific problem in order to reduce dairy waste and satisfy the Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals (SDG). 


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