A long-time sustainability practitioner creates his own integrated report and shares what he learned…

Integrated Report Components

If an integrated report (financial and what-ever your company calls sustainability – corporate social responsibility or something else) reflects how the company creates value, it should have eight key ingredients: (from the International Framework)

  1. overview of company and operating environment
  2. governance
  3. business model description
  4. risks and opportunities discussion
  5. strategy and resource allocation
  6. performance information (successes)
  7. outlook for coming year(s)
  8. how the report was prepared and presented

Bob Willard, the author,  is a leading expert on corporate sustainability strategies and has quantified the business case for sustainability strategies. He’s shared many resources and tools like the Future Fit Business Benchmark that are being used for developing sustainability strategies and goals.

This article started from the idea that the framework used for this integrated report should be verified/tested and provide a real picture of the author’s own company’s sustainability.

The Lessons Learned

What is revealing about this article is that there is no one “right” way to create such a report. Willard shares the resources used to satisfy elements of the report and insights he gained along the way. Sustainable supply chain is where he gave pause as he couldn’t account for how sustainable are the practices of the providers/suppliers of goods and services. He therefore, while implicitly understanding the issue, he admits that there is more to do.

The reminder that the first time is the hardest is a good one. If a company never sets up to do a report it misses the opportunity to go through the process. The process helps companies understand what’s working and helps identify the next set of milestones.

Due to the work Bob Willard performed on his own report, sustainability professionals will have the benefit of a new set of resources available. If you do nothing else please do take a look at his “performance at a glance” page in his report. If you and your company are able to create reports at this level of specificity and granularity, you’re definitely on the right track!

For those who need a bit of help to get started or evolve, get in touch.

Read the full article at: sustainabilityadvantage.com