For accountability purposes and to keep steering and guiding the sustainability achievements of the organization, you need information. The CSR manager needs to ensure this information is reliable, useful and relevant. The monitoring role of the CSR manager includes monitoring and evaluating (applications of) the sustainability strategy and policies; setting up internal audits; developing standards, instruments and procedures for sustainable activities; and establishing internal measurement methodologies. In this role, the CSR manager also contributes to the sustainability content of the annual report or is responsible for a separate sustainability report. There are several relevant regulations, governance tools and guidelines available to fulfill this monitoring role.
To be a good monitor, a sustainability manager needs the competency of instrumental understanding. It requires strong analytical skills. The implementation of the monitoring role will differ from company to company. For example, in listed companies, there might be specific people assigned to the area of sustainability reporting. This role is often assigned to someone with either a financial or a communications background.
The most important task as a monitor is to collect information which helps to guide the sustainability strategy and with which the company can be accountable to its stakeholders. In order to do this, the CSR manager needs to collect and analyze relevant data. Data related to the sustainability performance, such as the CO2footprint or the lifecycle analyses. The chapter in the book about the monitor role highlights the importance of data and metrics for sustainability as well as the other important tasks for the monitoring role of the CSR manager.