The 2010 Sustainability and CSR Reporting season is beginning

The 2010 Sustainability and CSR Reporting is beginning. Here are some the most recent CSR reports that have been published so far (including my comments of course!),

Most recent Sustainability and CSR reports I have come across:

PepsiCo
This is a very interesting development from PepsiCo. They now publish a so called ‘Health Report’ instead of a Sustainability Report and new global commitments announced on nutrition, environmental sustainability and financial performance. All in all this is a really interesting development from PepsiCo. I did not expect this development.

Segro
Segro is a UK commercial property investment and development company with a really good Sustainability reporting track record. Their new report is no exception. Really good!

United Technologies
United Technologies Corporation (UTC) is a diversified company and has many bases to covers with regards to Sustainability and CSR content and communication. This new report is not bad but also shows how hard it can be for these kind of companies to report on their material issues and topics.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Hmm. This is a really difficult one. GSK and been part of the Sustainability and CSR reporting field for a long time. They have always reported on the topics and issues that are important to them and what they do to address these. But I expected something different this year, something more unique to GSK. To me this report and website have an old fashioned feel. Although the information provided is still very good.

The trend I can see so far for 2010:
Companies seem to move away from the classic CSR or Sustainability Reporting branding and go for Reporting on topics and issues that are more in tune with their individual business sector. Examples here are PepsiCo, Nestle and Segro. Other companies are still stuck in their old ways of reporting and presentation. Here examples include GSK and United Technologies.

I believe that there are arguments for both options, 1) continuity and 2) innovation. I prefer the innovation but this is the beauty of Sustainability and CSR reporting. The spectrum of stakeholders is very diverse and each company needs to decide for themselves how they want to report. So let’s see how and on what other companies will report on in the coming months.

UPDATE: Here are two more most recent reports I came across. Standard Chartered, a UK Bank. And Aviva, a UK based insurance company. Two good reports.

No Comments

  1. Thanks, Fabian. On the innovation side, what interesting things being done online, with interactivity in reporting (not static reports), have you seen this year so far, if any? How about companies breaking down the plethora of information in the reports into digestible bits that can be integrated into their brand communications, for wider stakeholder reach?

  2. Thanks for the comment Perry. Interactivity: Good topic. So far I can not say that the ones I have seen are particularly interactive. But I think the interactivity is one of the ultimate goals of reports I believe. PepsiCo and Segro are not that bad at this so far. But there is still a long way to go and both companies still seem to focus much more on the content then the best possible presentation/interactivity.
    I am really looking forward to a new Seventh Generation report http://www.seventhgeneration.com/ and Intel or Microsoft for example. They should have interesting reports coming up.

    On the reporting of manageable bits of information: This is also a process companies need to go through over time as they report on an annual basis. In my experience these companies that struggle to break up the vast amounts of information are usually the ones which are first time reporters or ones with a very low budget unfortunately.
    But that is just my experience. What is yours?

  3. Thanks for the comment Perry. Interactivity: Good topic. So far I can not say that the ones I have seen are particularly interactive. But I think the interactivity is one of the ultimate goals of reports I believe. PepsiCo and Segro are not that bad at this so far. But there is still a long way to go and both companies still seem to focus much more on the content then the best possible presentation/interactivity.I am really looking forward to a new Seventh Generation report http://www.seventhgeneration.com/ and Intel or Microsoft for example. They should have interesting reports coming up.On the reporting of manageable bits of information: This is also a process companies need to go through over time as they report on an annual basis. In my experience these companies that struggle to break up the vast amounts of information are usually the ones which are first time reporters or ones with a very low budget unfortunately.But that is just my experience. What is yours?

  4. Yes, there is still a great focus on gathering the content and presenting it well as a whole, static document. This is a shame, because dynamic, interactive reports could communicate the information more effectively, be updated more easily and/or frequently, and with very useful, ongoing input from stakeholders. With breaking up the information into usable bits, I agree that inexperience and lower budgets make it more challenging. I also think many companies put sustainability/CSR into a silo within their organization, rather than look at it systemically across departments. In this case, they fail to see how communicating parts of their efforts differently to different stakeholders in different ways would be of great benefit. CSR simply needs to be made part of the culture, and companies seem to be getting that, as employee engagement on CSR issues seems a top agenda item for most this year.

  5. Companies are being held to account for their actions and in actions if their employees, their customers and more. There are many companies who have well laid out CSR reporting. Yet most corporations have neither the governance structure nor the systems to handle these conflicting demands. The IMD OWP 2010 sessions will help companies to better understand challenges as well as identify some of the organizational systems, strategies and mindsets that can help firms thrive under conflicting stakeholder demands.

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