Verification should be a positive experience. Whether we verify your corporate responsibility report, or the sustainability pages in your annual report and/or on your website, the value should be clear.
Whether you are at the beginning of your reporting cycle or whether you have already compiled the content of a sustainability report, you may want to do what many of your peers are already doing: get it externally verified. Experience has shown that some simple tips, often seemingly trivial, have proven valuable to companies seeking verification. As you set out, keep these in mind:
1. Make sure you begin the process with the right attitude. You will gain much more from the process if you are interested in continuous improvement and not solely an assurance statement.
2. Take your time defining the scope together with your selected verifier. How deep and wide will the verification go? Will it cover the whole or only part of the report? Will it include site visits and stakeholder dialogue? Will it include verifying in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative or other Corporate Responsibility guidelines?
3. Start the planning and preparation of the verification process as early as possible.
4. Be prepared to incorporate and make changes to your report during the verification. Suggestions for improvements and necessary changes will be put to you during the verification process, which means that the process will improve your report from the draft version to the final report.
5. Select your partner (verifier) carefully.
Now you are ready to begin the verification.