Over the next three years the world of sustainability reporting will undergo considerable change as integrated reporting moves into the mainstream. We thought it was the perfect time for practitioners to have their say and perhaps influence the direction of reporting. This was the touchstone of research undertaken by Corporate Citizenship in early 2012 and published this July.
Among other things, we asked over 150 global reporting practitioners about their reporting audiences, formats used, reporting frameworks, attitudes to Integrated Reporting and the challenges they faced. We used their responses to test our time based model of reporting development and identify current best practices. Among the many surprise findings, the relative prioritisation of financial and internal audiences has particularly important implications for an Integrated Reporting world. Another significant theme was the anxiety practitioners faced around audiences, information and reporting approach.
In response to our findings we set out to simplify reporting decision making. Our value based approach takes the reporting process and breaks it down into four components. By manipulating the value used or created at each stage, not only will practitioners have a spotlight to shine on decision making; they can gain a clearer understanding of the value of reporting to the whole organisation.