Envizi uses a variety of terms within the Sustainability Reporting Manager (SRM).
Frameworks can be one of two types, both of which can be found in the Framework Library.
The first type are Envizi Managed Frameworks. These are internationally recognized ESG frameworks, as well as some market- or sector-specific frameworks that we currently support. For these frameworks, we have included the full details of all questions directly from the frameworks, as well as guidance for each question.
The second type of frameworks are Custom Frameworks. Envizi recognizes that diversity in the ESG reporting landscape leads to diverse user needs. As a result, in the SRM, users can build their own questions, whether it be for unique regulatory requirements, rating agencies, or even their own, internal, key performance indicators.
A Disclosure can be thought of like a report. It has its own workflow and questions contained within it. A Disclosure could be any set of questions that your organization wants to report in a single place, whether it be an annual report, a corporate social responsibility report, or even a regulatory filing. Disclosures can include a single framework, or multiple frameworks, and can consist of an Envizi Managed Framework(s) and/or a Custom Framework(s).
Questions and Responses
A framework is made up of individual questions. In each case a question will have a unique code within a framework. Once a question has been added to a disclosure, these questions become responses. A response is where you can record all of your data such as your methodology, attachments, etc.
Envizi Guidance is a collection of best practices for questions for the Envizi Managed Frameworks. While the Sustainability Reporting Manager doesn’t contain customized guidance for each reporter, Envizi has provided a collection of common themes and threads to keep in mind as you answer the questions. The contents of the Envizi Guidance will vary, sometimes it might remind you of cross-over with a regulatory filing, and other times it might suggest collaboration across your teams within your organization. Importantly, if a question requires that you refer to the rest of the Envizi platform when answering a question, the Guidance will tell you how to extract that information.
Methodology is a place to keep track of how, each year, a question is answered. In the first year of use, this may seem unnecessary, but it is actually a crucial part of the Sustainability Reporting Manager. A common problem for ESG reporters is that institutional knowledge on reporting can be lost, when teams change for example. If methodologies aren’t tracked, the approach to responses can change year-on-year. This reduces the value of reporting, as you can’t compare your reports to previous years. Keeping track of your methodology, in the methodology field, is a way to ensure the integrity of future reports.
The Assignee for a question is the person assigned to do the collection of information for the question, and fill in all the relevant response fields, namely the Methodology, Final Response, Links, and Attachments. Once this is done, the Assignee should change the status of the response to Ready for Review.
The Reviewer for a question is the person assigned to review the assignee’s work for a question. They can then mark a response as Ready for Approval once they have validated the assignee’s work, or Complete is there is no Approver in the workflow.
The Approver for a question is the person assigned to approve the final response if they deem it acceptable, upon which they can mark the status of the response as Complete. The Approver an optional persona, which can be included when Creating a Disclosure.
The Disclosure Owner is the person that is ultimately responsible for the content and delivery of the disclosure. This person can also be an assignee, reviewer or approver, but they are not tied to restrictions associated with these roles.
Topics are the distinctions that a framework draws between its questions. Different frameworks categorize their questions in different ways, therefore the topic tells you how the framework differentiates its questions.
Envizi Category is Envizi’s classification of questions. If you have a large sustainability team, and have experts in emissions, social concerns, human rights, etc. then you can turn on Envizi Categorization, and break down questions by broader theme, across Frameworks. This would allow the members of your team to focus on their own expertise.