A few weeks ago, I, along with our Managing Director Penny Baxter, was delighted to bring annual reporters of all shapes, sizes, and sectors together at 82 Baker Street for a breakfast roundtable discussion. Our aim: to talk about some of the issues raised in our new ‘Directions’ supplement, ’Integrated reporting: measurement matters’, and to learn from the experiences of leading integrated reporters.
I am very pleased to report that we were able to have a full, flowing debate that incorporated a multitude of views, hopes, and fears, and also that there remains much interest in the concept of integrated reporting.
During the roundtable, I explained how inspired I had been by the recent uptick in both quality and volume of integrated reports, and particularly so by many reporters’ moves towards measuring non-financial outcomes in meaningful ways. We also heard from PwC’s Atul Patel, who shared some of the work the firm is doing around capturing non-financial value: Atul explained how he is helping companies (including The Crown Estate) to take into account all six of the capitals identified by the IIRC, and thereby guiding them to think and act in a more integrated way.
A particular highlight of the roundtable was hearing about the experiences of two companies who, though at different stages of their journey, had both ‘been there and done that’ when it came to integrated reporting.
First up was Andreas Foller, from sustainable transport company (and first-time integrated reporter) Scania. Andreas explained the rationale behind adopting integrated reporting, and how he and his team approached thorny first-year issues like the ‘whole-business’ materiality process, adjusting the business model description and beginning to measure non-financial outcomes.
We also heard from Marc van Weede, who oversees the integrated report at Dutch insurance group Aegon, one of the Netherlands’, if not Europe’s, leading integrated reporters. He advised that a clear focus on materiality, and taking care to link different pieces of content together, are critical to strong integrated reporting.
We really enjoyed the roundtable, and many thanks are due to everyone who made time, turned up and contributed on the day, our guest speakers and the ‘behind the scenes’ team at Salterbaxter.
If you would like to talk to us about integrated reporting, please do drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a note to Louise Dudley-Williams at email@example.com.