Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting your toes wet

es, folks, it's that time of year again. The time of year we vote for the best of the best of CSR reports. Now in its third year in the West End ... er ... in Cyberspace ... CRRA 10  (Corporate Register Reporting Awards for the uninitiated) is open to votes from all West End  Cyberspace residents. I am wondering how the plot will evolve into an ultimate denouement of winners. Shall we lift the curtain and throw a spotlight on the key protagonists ? (It's not that I'm the theatrical type, I just like to play around a little.. haha, pun intended).

60 Reports compete for Best Report  (Headache category)
21 Reports want to be Best First Timers (Get-your-toes-wet category)
12 Reports aspire to be the Best SME Report (Small-is-big category)
15 Reports go for Best Integrated Report (Get-it-all-together category)
20 Reports go green as Best Carbon Disclosure (Count-my-offsets category)
30 Reports aspire to Creativity in Communications (Greenwash category)
45 Reports display Relevance & Materiality  (What-counts cateogry)
37 Reports hang their hat on Openness & Honesty (Oxymoron category)
24 Reports assure us of Credibility thru Assurance (Who-are-you-kidding category)

Oy! Where do you start and how do you choose. I addressed this in a previous post and promised to come back to the get-it-all-togethers, the get-your-toes-wet and the small-is-big reports at a future date. This is that date. In the toe-wetting category at least.

The get-your-toes-wet category.
It always surprises me how many first time reports there are every year. Several hundred, and growing each year. I always like and respect  first reports, as they represent a major step-change and catalyst in a Company's approach to CSR and transparency. Another thing that susprises me is how little some first-timers learn from the years and years and  thousands of reports that have already evolved into established reporting formats and some, not all, that are very effective. Getting on the reporting stage (that West End thing again) is very hard. Let's not underestimate this effort.

So , of the 600+ first timers in 2008, who's on the list for the CRRA 10 First Timer award? .Perhaps this will aid you in deciding which reports to look at and which to vote for.  I have exercised great restraint and listed only ONE thing I like about each report and NONE of the things I don't like - haha - you will have to discover those for yourselves.

Of the 21 reports in this category, 2 are not GRI reports, and most of the others are GRI C level (12 reports) . This speaks to the apparent importance of having the C Application level, as a leg up into the reporting world. One report made the ambitious FMT target (Full Monty Transparency) with an A report, and a handful had their report assured. First reporters came from all sectors and many countries and ranged from tens of employees to tens of thousands, and from small-scale turnover to multi billion $ Companies.

Who deserves the number one slot? Judge for yourself.  And vote !!

Abreu and Associates -Portugal -  We advocate sustainability
GRI B self declared 122 page report, published in May 2009.
Independent Portuguese law firm with 134 lawyers, one of top five law fims in Portugal. Claims to be the first sustainability report in the legal sector in Portugal
One thing I like: Discussion of sustainability in a legal context.

Astra Zeneca Canada- Working on what matters in ways that matter
Non GRI - 26 pages , published in September 2009.
This is a community involvement report only. It contains testimonials from employees and community partners. It does not cover any other aspect of sustainability or CSR.
One thing I like: Personal statements from a range of people.

Ayala Corporation Phillipines - Pioneering for a sustainable future
GRI C self declared, 48 page report, published in October 2009
Ayala Corp is the holding Company for a diversified range of industrial activities in the finance, telecomms, electronics and many other sectors. Employs over 35,000 in the Group with revenues of over $3.5 billion. Claims to be first conglomerate in the Phillipines that published a sustainability report.
One thing I like: Environmental footprint chart

Bovis Lend Lease UK Sustainability Review
GRI C self declared, 130 pages, published in September 2009
Bovis Lend Lease is a provider of construction and project management services in the real estate market.
One thing I like: Executive summary at start of report

Brasil Foods SA Brazil -Annual Report of Sustainability
GRI C third party checked, 70 pages, published in June 2009 
Brazilian foods company employing 59,000 people with revenues of $7.5 billion. The report is published under the name of Brasil Foods, after the merger with Saida food Company in which Perdigao is the 68% partner. Actually it is an integrated report serving as an annual financial report which meets GRI C guidelines. The  report is written in the name of Perdigao, and Perdigao published an annual report with 10 pages of  CSR / sustainability content in 2008
One thing I like: Packed with data

CA Inc USA 2008 Sustainability Report - Connected
GRI C third party checked, 80 pages, published in November 2008 
Self-proclaimed "world's leading independent  IT management software Company"  with revenues of $4,277 billion, employing 14,000 people. Although this is registered as a third party checked report, and the GRI icon is for a C third party checked report, there is no evidence of a third party check. Looks like a C self-declared.
One thing I like: Clean design

Corporate Express Australia Ltd -2008 Sustainability Report
GRI B GRI -Checked 46 pages, published in September 2009
Office supplies Company with 2,500 employees and  revenues of $1.3 billion.
One thing I like: Listing of stakeholder concerns and key reponses to them.

Elsport Kredit Fonden - Denmark - CSR Report 2008
GRI C+ third party checked , 83 pages, published in April 2009
Elsport is the Danish Export Credit Agency administering the Danish Export Credit scheme. The organization employs 64 people. Small organization with a big impact.
One thing I like: Absolute clarity and detail

Henry Davis York - Australia - Sustainability Report 2008- Imagine
GRI C+ Third Party Checked, 50 pages, published in November 2008
Australian law firm - the first report for lawyers down-under apparently. Henry Davis York has 47 partners and 385 staff.
One thing I like: The personal touch - statements from the people responsible for CSR.

Horizon Holdings Inc - Canada - Sustainability-based Annual Report
GRI B  self declared , 33 pages, published June 2009
Horizon is an Ontario based electricity provider providing power to Ontario, with $88 million in revenues and 336 employees.  
One thing I like: the GRI "filing" - detailed responses to GRI indicators as a separate section.

Jumeirah Group LLC - Dubai - Corporate Responsibity Report 2008
GRI B self declared, 36 pages, published April 2009
Jumeirah Group is a hotel group based in  Dubai, with 11 luxury hotels, with 12,000 employees (revenues not disclosed) . One of the few reports to come out of the UAE.
One thing I like: Names of individuals with responsibility to drive the CR Program.

Millipore Corporation - USA - 2008 Sustainability Report
GRI C self declared, 94 pages, published in April 2009
Milliport is a life science Company providing tools for the development of bioscience research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing. They have revenues of $1.6 billion and 5,900 employees
One thing I like: Real pictures of real people working in a real company
National Instruments Corporation - USA - 2008 Citizenship Report
GRI C self declared , 63 pages, published in April 2009
This Company makes instruments for scientists and engineers for the development of new technologies. $821 million revenues in 2008 and a workforce of approximately 5,000 people.
One thing I like: Highlights, Challenges, Commitments format

Northeast Utilities - USA - 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report
GRI B self declared,38 pages, published in July 2009
Electricity and natural gas provider in New England. Northeast has 6,100 employees. Couldn't work out how much money they cash in.
One thing I like: Good safety performance reporting .

Societe de Transport de Monreal - 2008 - The STM in 2008 Sustainable Development Report
GRI C self declared, 46 pages, published in June 2009
Public transportation Company in Montreal, 8,398 employees, $927 million in revenues.13th largest corporation in Quebec
One thing I like: Contextual information and background.

The Walt Disney Company - USA - 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report
GRI C self declared, 97 pages, published in March 2009
TheWalt Disney leisure business which brings in around $38 million in revenues and employs over 100,000 people (depending how you count the seasonals).
One thing I like: Modest tone and admission of shortfalls.

TUI Travel plc - UK - Sustainable Development Report 2008
GRI C self declared, 46 pages, published in July 2009
TUI Travel is a leisure and lifestyle activity travel Company with 13.9 billion pounds sterling in revenue and  50,000 employees operating in the UK and in Europe.
One thing I like: Progres versus prior year targets.

Vaisala Oyj - Finland - Vaisala Corporate Responsibility Report 2008
GRI C GRI checked, 50 pages, published inMarch 2009
Vaisala is an environmental and industrial measurement Company, producing observation and measurement products for meteorology and other functions. Revenues 242 million EUROs. Employees 1,200.
One thing I like: Their vision.

VIP Packaging - Australia - 08 Sustainable Choices
GRI undeclared, 49 pages, published December 2008
Privately owned packaging Company, employing 1,154 people.
One thing I like: Benefits and challenges of packaging.

WPA Pinfold - UK - Sustainability Report Edition 1
Non GRI, 31 pages, published August 2009
WPA Pinfold is a brand and communications design Company. This is the only report i have ever seen which does not contain even one single number. That is, if you discount the odd date, page numbers and the cost of the chairs in the offices (no kidding).  It is not a report, it is a nicely designed book of sustainability philosophy. I wonder why they called it a report ?
One thing I like: The fact that they provide free fruit for their staff

888 Holdings plc - Israel/Gibraltar - 2008 Corporate Responsibility - People Planet Play
GRI A GRI checked, 87 pages, published in October 2009
888 Holdings is an online gaming Company.
One think I like: The fact that I wrote it.

There are only two more things I want to say:
1. Happy voting!
2. Where the heck are you hiding the Chunky Monkey?

elaine cohen is the joint CEO of BeyondBusiness, a leading reporting and social-environmental consulting firm based in Israel. Visit our website at:  


UKati said...

Hi Elaine,
I always admire how you find time to read so many reports!
Great job!
I did my part, and voted...

elaine said...

thank you Kati! We can compare notes on or voting after the awards!

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