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29 Sep

Sustainability reports: Smart communication and action for local governments

Ever more local governments publish sustainability reports – some do so once per year, a larger number opts for multi-year intervals. What do they achieve?

VNG International has researched the experiences of frontrunners and just published two interesting documents on the matter: A short Policy Brief (available here) contains key lessons. A longer report (available here) describes many practical experiences and recommendations.

VNG International researched the reporting practice in Amsterdam, Basel, Dublin, Freiburg, Nuremberg and Zurich. For these cities, sustainability reporting is no bureaucratic obligation. Instead, it is a means to stimulate learning, to guide decision-making, and to communicate with citizens and other stakeholders. The reporting process can also increase coherence between local needs and national and international policy frameworks such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. However, there are no standardised solutions. Effective reports need to be tailored to local contexts and to supplement existing (annual) reports. VNG International is offering advisory services to help local governments in various countries make sustainability reports a worthwhile `green investment´`.

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