In the last decades the environmental status of our earth has been in the news frequently. The greenhouse impact, the depletion of natural resources, the diminishing biodiversity and the unprecedented rate of species extinction all point out that the status is not as healthy as it should be. With the ever-growing concern for our planet a new way off doing business developed, sustainable development. The term sustainable development was first introduced in The Bruntland report, made by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987, and the definition herein given is: ''to satisfy the needs of the current generation in such a way as not to endanger the satisfaction of the needs of future generations and the development of future generations."
The companies practicing sustainable development today are spread throughout all sectors of business. While some sectors of business are profitable in selling the products produced with sustainable development, especially in niche markets, there are still sectors, like the timber industry and energy industry, where the competition abstains from using sustainable production methods and where the companies that do rely heavily on subsidies or the environment friendly customer.
Several standards have been formed to guide sustainable development. One can think of the ISO standard 14001, accepted worldwide, containing guidelines to which an Environmental Management System must abide by. The European Union took this standard as the basis for the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). It is a requirement of the EMAS that participating organizations regularly produce a public environmental statement that reports on their environmental performance, whose accuracy and reliability has been independently checked by an environmental verifier. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has developed and is improving globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, necessary fo...