Here is an innovative CSR Report. Is it a global first ? Maybe. Except for the fact that it is Solar Century's second video CSR report. It's the only report I have seen in video format. Here it is:
It's a 22.04 minute video which talks about the Company's CSR performance. It covers most topics that are usually included in a CSR report, following a structure which is based on the 10 principles against which the Company does business. Company people, starting with the Executive Chairman, talk through the key issues, and the report includes star-appearances from external partners such as a recycling operator and a customer and others. It's light on data, with environmental data presented in graphs on screen which are a little hard to follow and disappear rather quickly.The report specifies 5 quantifiable targets in the area of environmental impacts reduction. As far as movies goes, it's not bad. Nice shots of photovoltaics in different settings and on different roofs and many other shots of different aspects of the Company's work and activities. The visuals certainly assist in giving us an appreciation for what this Company does and how.
The video is accompanied by a 30 page PDF download which resembles the kind of document we are familiar with, for better or for worse. The written document contains the data in the video and additional information. It's clear and easy to read.
This is clearly a sustainability-minded Company and I admit that the video, if you can spare 20 minutes to watch it from start to finish, is not a bad job at all. It offers little in the way of excitment, with a narrator that sounds a little like my GPS navigator, and no Hollywood stars or special effects (James Cameron wouldn't have been challenged), but it gets the message through and leaves you with a feeling that Solar Century is actually quite a good busines doing quite good work.
I would recommend splitting the video report into sections and offering the viewers the chance to select the bits they want to view, as not everyone has the time and the patience to watch a 20 minute marathon. In this 140 character world of micro-everything, I think Solar Century's movie-time might be better as a series of micro-movies rather than this one Gone-with-the-Wind version.
In any event, thumbs up to Solar Century for an innovative, creative report, one in which they have clearly invested time and effort and personal involvement of a range of budding Hollywood stars.
I hope everyone doesn't produce video reports. I go through too much popcorn.
elaine cohen is the joint CEO of BeyondBusiness, a leading reporting and social-environmental consulting firm. Visit our website at: www.b-yond.biz/en