Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The CRRA 12 Navigation Guide

As most of you will know, the CRRA annual awards is the largest annual online sustainability report awards around the globe, organized now for the fifth time by, the global CR resources website which hosts the world’s most comprehensive directory of corporate non-financial reporting, profiling over 36,000 reports from over 8,400 organizations. The go-to place for sustainability reports.

As usual, CRRA attracts a collection of excellent reports, 93 in total this time around, from 29 countries including Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Israel, Hungary, Japan, Greece, Singapore, Korea, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Brazil and more. This is a whole 15,668 pages of CSR information (excluding the L'Oreal entry which is an online report and not downloadable). There are reports representing big firms, small firms, universities, municipalities and non-profits. A great collection of worthy reports, all published in the year prior to October 2011.  This year, in addition showcasing the report itself, companies were asked to provide a brief narrative about the key highlights of the report, in their own words. Most reporting companies have used this opportunity to provide more details for the readers during the voting process and it is well worth looking at these highlights if you don't have time to read all the 93 reports (!) to help you select which reports to look at in more detail.

Some quick facts:
  • Sanofi Aventis takes the prize for the longest report - 400 pages
  • Royal Dutch Shell takes the prize for the most number of entries - six in total - every category except first time report, SME report and integrated report.
  • 27 of the 93 reports entered in CRRA 12 also serve as a Communication on Progress to the UNGC.
  • Around 20 of the 93 reports entered in CRRA 12 are integrated (but only 18 are entered in the Best Integrated Report category)
  • Only 9 reports are more than 200 pages long and 7 reports are 30 pages or less.
  • The USA has the most number of entries - 35 voting opportunities - representing 22 reports. The UK follows with 19 entries representing 7 reports.
  • HP and Coca Cola Enterprises, first and second place winners in the Best Report category last year are both entered in the Best Report category this year. Bayer, third place winner in the Best Report category, is not entered this year in any category.
  • The Support Services sector (legal, consulting, marketing services etc)  is represented by 19 entries (11 reports), followed by the banks with 15 entries (6 reports)
  • The only report in the tobacco sector is British American Tobacco, which is entered in 5 categories.
  • The only Stock Exchange to enter the reporting awards is Deutsche Boerse with a report called "Positions". This is the third report by this organization but the first time they have entered CRRA.
  • The report with the least number of pages is M4C with an eleven page report, entered in the SME category.
And a quick look at the 9 categories:

We know that for the past few years, about 20% of all reports are first-timers and in many ways, these are some of the most interesting and the most innovative. CRRA 12 entries include 18 first time reports from 10 countries across 15 sectors. 13 out of the 18 reports (72%) are GRI-based, one is integrated and 5 (28%) are assured. The average number of pages is 64 with the highest page count going to Bloomberg with a whopping 235 pages.

Surprisingly (and disappointingly), this category attracted only 5 entries this time around. Wonder why? Are fewer SME's reporting? The five reports are from five countries and three sectors and have an average of 55 pages, ranging from 11 to 160 pages. Four out of five are GRI-based reports, and one  is an intergrated report.

18 integrated reports are competing in this category, with over 2,200 pages of narrative and data. Reports come from 14 countries with USA, Korea, South Africa and Germany having two reports each in this category. 18 sectors are represented with the leisure, software, transport and pharma leading in integration. Only two reports in this category are not GRI based (Siveco, Romania and Syngenta International of Switzerland) and of the others, only Wilderness Holdings Ltd of South Africa does not declare a GRI reporting level. 8 out of the 18 reports are at GRI A level and 10 (56%) are externally assured. Normally, we could expect to see a higher level of assurance for integrated reports, though the assurance of CSR related information is not always comprehensive.

9 contenders this year in the Best Carbon Category which was won last year by Hewlett Packard's 2008 Report. Reports come from 6 countries with USA and Brazil in the lead, and from 7 sectors, with the banking sector trying for three of the nine report entries. The longest report is Banco Santander of Brazil with 144 pages and the shortest, Vodafone Group plc with 23 pages. All reports are GRI-based, and all at A or B level with one exception (Wyndham Worldwide Corporation) which is a C level, and, the only report that is not externally assured.

24 reports are aspiring to with the Creativity Award, of which over half come from USA (9), UK (3) and Canada (4) and others from a further 7 countries. 15 sectors are represented with the Support Services sector contributing 5 reports out of the 24 which are entered. 22 reports are GRI-based, with Newalta Corp and Dell Corp being the odd two out. HP contributes the most pages (242) to the 1,892 pages in this category, which is 13% of the total.

25 reports in this category, from 18 sectors, with banks and pharma taking three reports each. 18 sectors are represented with banks and pharma at the top (3 reports each). 12 companies also report to the UNGC in this category. 17 countries contributed reports and all but three are GRI-based.

This is probably one of the hardest categories to judge as one has to guestimate what is not disclosed in order to assess the degree of openness! The 20 reports in this sector are from 19 different industry sectors, which shows that openness and honesty are universal values. However, only 10 of the 29 countries entering the Reporting Awards are represented in this category, with UK reporters believing they are the most open and honest of all, with 25% of reports here. Honesty, however, is not always best left to chance, so 13 of the 20 reports in this category have used external assurance. Natura Cosmeticos of Brazil has the biggest offering in terms of openness with a 250 pages, the longest report in this category.

14 reports have entered this category, bringing their assuring vendors along with them. 12 countries and 12 sectors are represented in this category, and the assurer who had the most work, apparently, was Ernst and Young UK who worked on the British American Tobacco report which is 216 pages long. None of the other reports in this category topped 151 pages. 
And finally, the largest category of all, in which you have a choice of 44 reports from 22 countries. All but 7 reports are GRI-based (which is 85% GRI) and of the GRI reports, all but 3 declared a reporting level. 25 of the total 44 reports (57%) are externally assured, 15 (34%) serve as UNGC COP's, and 6 are integrated reports. Reports in this category have a 90 page average, with the Vodafone Group report being the most compact at 23 pages.

All in all, a great selection. Congrats to all reporters who have entered the awards and good luck to all! Every report is an effort, every report is a production and every report is worthy of recognition (even if there is some ... or massive ... room for improvement). As usual, I am already excited to hear the results, but I think I will refrain from making predictions this year as I never quite get it right.

Voting is open until Friday 27th January 2012 and voters (anyone freely registered on the website) may select up to 5 choices in each award category. Those voters with a first choice for each award category are then entered in the Voters’ Prize draw and can win cash prizes. A total of £2,500 will be awarded to voters. Ha-Ha - it PAYS to VOTE!! But remember, if your report is entered in the competition, you and other employees cannot vote for your own company report! Which, I think, is fair. Tough, but fair!

Ahem! One more thing.....

While you are voting, please consider voting for my own Sustainability Report - How a little consulting firm makes a big impact - which is entered in four categories: Best Report, Best First Time Report, Best SME Report and Best Creativity in Communications.

Additionally, you might also please consider reviewing and voting for the Baran Group report - which I worked on - which is entered in two categories: Best Relevance and Materiality and Best Openness and Honesty.

And now, all that remains is for me to stock up on loads and loads of ice cream as I sit down to read 91 reports (Ha-Ha, I have a head start- I don't need to read the two reports that I worked on :)

Disclaimer: The analyses presented above are my own - I may have miscalculated here and there - apologies in advance - my blog posts are not externally assured - so use my numbers as a guide and not as the absolute truth.

And: WATCH this SPACE for more posts in the CRRA 12 Navigation Guide.

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  on Twitter or via my business website  (BeyondBusiness, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails