In Paul Scott's (CoprorateRegister.com CEO) introduction, he notes that there has been an increase in the quantity of reports, but that we should "await the increase in quality". Global reporting output reached almost 5,000 reports, but the true figure including reports published in different languages is closer to 6,000. This follows a very consistent year-on-year increase in reports published every year since 1992, and is a testimony to the appreciation of transparency as a key business practice. Even if the quality is not quite there, efforts to be more transparent are crucial.
Europe is way out in the lead on reporting, producing around half of all reports published globally. The top 3 all-time reporting countries are the UK, the USA, Japan, Germany and Australia, in that order. Japan is a prolific reporter and would actually be top of the list if all Japanese language reports not available in English were included. Let's see whether recent tragic natural-disaster-related events in Japan create a change in this picture for 2011.
First-time reports (my faves) continue to represent around 20% of all reports while integrated reporting remains at 5% of total global output, despite all the buzz and talking up of this approach. Brazil and South Africa are showing greater interest in integratedization, with 15% and 18% of all reports showing up in the one annual document. The Jo'burg Stock Exchange's requirement for integrated reporting should boost the number of South African integrated reports in coming years. Less than 25% of reports are assured each year.
CRRA '11 shows a continued uptake in GRI reports (those which contain a GRI content index) which reached 40% in 2010, with Spain, Portugal, South Africa and Brazil being out in the lead.
Whichever way you cut the data, reporting is very much in the frame, though, of course, there are far more companies that still do not report than do. Will the 2011 reporting year bring us any closer to mainstream?
Anyway, the CRRA awards are a great annual event. This time, there were nine winning reports from nine companies (in previous years, reports won in more than one category). In CRRA'11 you would have had to read 843 pages of sustainability reporting to read all the first place winning reports, but only 699 a year ago. And despite Japan being out there with the reporting leaders, not one Japanese report made it to the top ten in any category. I wonder if that is because Japanese reports are always loaded with diagrams. Take a look at the Fujifilm Holdings Corporation Sustainability Report 2010 , one of the Best Report category entrants. This report, GRI undeclared (with a GRI online index), externally assured, the Company's fourth, is packed with diagrams. Here is one of my faves:
It takes a while to figure this out, but actually, it's very good and provides great detail of environmental impacts in the life cycle of Fujifilm products. This is one of thousands (ok, a slight exaggeration) of diagrams in this report.
Another very interesting thing in the Fujifilm report is their Environmental Cost Accounting Balance Sheet.
elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainabilty Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices Contact me via www.twitter.com/elainecohen on Twitter or via my business website www.b-yond.biz/en (BeyondBusiness, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)