Saturday, May 4, 2013

Drumroll for the CRRA'13 winners!

Once again, amidst great fanfare, the annual iconic CRRA '13 Awards Winners were announced during a special, one-day, by-invitation-only CR Perspectives conference hosted by and free to participants in the CR Perspectives survey and CRRA '13 winners and other guests. More about this in another post. is home to the world’s most comprehensive directory of corporate non-financial reports with close to 48,000 reports from 9,900 companies across almost all the countries you can think of.

Reports from six countries took the nine first place awards, with the U.S. and Canada picking up five of the top nine places, and the UK, Denmark, Australia and South Korea picking up one each.
Ten countries made the top 27 places (first place and two runners up in each category) in this order: U.S. (9 top places), Canada (4 top places), UK and Korea (3 top places), and Switzerland, Romania, Denmark, Korea and Japan picking up one of the top 27 places each.
Interestingly, the top eight reports (across nine categories, Nike won twice) all represent different sectors, showing that it doesn't matter what you do, if you report well, you get noticed!
Nike was the star of the awards, with two outright first place wins, including Best Overall Report. This coveted award has been won only by three other companies in the history of CRRA - HP, Vodafone plc (three times) and Coca Cola Enterprises, Inc. Nike has not competed in CRRA in previous years, so this win is especially rewarding for the Nike team, I imagine.

Overall, CRRA '13 drew 5,739 valid votes, a slight decrease versus last year, but still a very respectable stakeholder turnout.  European votes led the pack, as did votes from corporate CR Professionals, showing that reporters are interested in reports. Who'da thunk it? However, many other stakeholder types are represented in the voting, ranging from academics to media to investors through to NGOs government agencies and, of course, consultants :). 
So, without further ado.... drumroll..... here are the winners. (NB. Links are the report profiles on the website, so you need to be registered to view them).

Best Report
1st Runner-up: Intel Corporation - 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report (UK)
2nd Runner-up: Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc - CR & Sustainability Report  (U.S.)

The Nike report won by a fair margin. It is a GRI-based self-declared B level report, and is meant for online reading. It's a report designed with the reader in mind, and one which is connected to the big issues of the day. If you are going to read any report in the next few months, this is a good pick. I believe I myself gave this report top marks, and was quoted in the CRRA '13 Winners Summary.

Comments on Nike's winning report- the CSR Consultant in Israel is me
(These comments came with Nike's win in the Innovation category -
there are more comments in the Best Report category)

Best First Time Report
Winner: Samsung Engineering Co Ltd - 2011 Sustainability Report (South Korea)
1st Runner-up: RockTenn - 2012 Sustainability Report (U.S.)
2nd Runner-up: GSK Romania - Corporate Responsibility Report 2011 (Romania)
Samsung picked up the Asian vote for this 80 page GRI B+ Level report, which, in typical Asian report style, is packed with charts and diagrams and a wealth of information. Congrats too to RockTenn, but my personal preference has to be with the report of a company who I have come to greatly admire - GSK Romania - in second runner up place. I worked on this report with GSK Romania so I know how genuine and transparent an effort this represents. 

Best Integrated Report
Winner: Novo Nordisk A/S - Annual Report 2011 (Denmark)
1st Runner-up: Vancouver City Savings Credit Union - 2011 Annual Report  (Canada)
2nd Runner-up: Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Limited - Annual Report 2012 (Japan)
No-one was surprised with the Novo win in this Integrated Report category. Novo have long since made integrated reporting their mark of distinction and this is another in a string of powerful reports. Integrated Reports still remain a small percentage in the sustainability reporting landscape, but on that playing field, Novo plays to win. Novo has taken the Best Integrated Report in every year this competition has been held, with the exception of CRRA '11, when entries prohibited previous winners in order to give a fair chance to other reporters.


Best Carbon Disclosure
Winner: Hydro Québec:Sustainability Report 2011 (Canada)
1st Runner-up: Xstrata plc - Sustainability Report 2011 (Switzerland)
2nd Runner-up: Royal Dutch Shell plc - Sustainability Report 2011 (Netherlands)
Hydro Quebec scored highly in my analysis of the Best Carbon reporters, so I believe this is a fair win. I was disappointed not to see Alcatel Lucent up there in the top three (they came in at 8th place), as I thought their carbon reporting stood out well above the rest.  
Creativity in Communications
Winner: Dell Inc - 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report (U.S.)
1st Runner-up:Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc - CR & Sustainability Report 2011/2012 (U.S.)
2nd Runner-up: International Flavors & Fragrances Inc - Sustainability Report 2011 (U.S.)
A hat-trick for the U.S. reporters in the creativity category. Interesting, no? Is creativity a core American competency? Dell's GRI A+ Report is certainly an impressive 100 pages, and a new approach to reporting apparently paid off. Dell said about their own report: "This year we utilized a fact sheet-based report model. We moved to this new format in order to improve the readability of our report both in report content and report structure for our audience. Through bulleted points our report offers clear, concise examples of what Dell did in FY12 to progress Dell corporate responsibility and what we will do next." Dell has competed most years since the start of the CRRA awards, but this is the first time they have won first place in any category.
Innovation in Reporting
1st Runner-up: Lockheed Martin Corporation - 2011  Corporate Sustainability Report (U.S.)
2nd Runner-up: Korea Railroad Corporation - 2011 Sustainability Report (South Korea) 
A new category to the CRRA line up this year (replacing the Best SME category, which took a nose-dive, due to the low number of SME entries (time to take a look at my new book, Sustainability Reporting for SMEs?)) and Nike hits the spot with their worthy report, a fitting re-entry of Nike back into CRRA after an absence of several years (Nike was runner-up in CRRA '07, the first CRRA, in the Best Openness and Honesty category).

Relevance & Materiality
Winner: Co-operative Group Limited - Sustainability Report 2011 (UK)
1st Runner-up: SK Telecom Co Ltd - 2011 Sustainability Report (South Korea)
2nd Runner-up: Marks and Spencer plc - How We Do Business Report 2012 (UK)
Poor Marks and Spencer. They were glowing (deservedly) at last year's award ceremony, having taken two first place awards (Best Openness and Honesty and Best Materiality) in CRRA '12. However, the Co-Operative Group, which also won the Ethical Corporation X Factor ranking, produced a really interesting report and deserves this win.  

Openness & Honesty
Winner: Pacific Hydro Pty Limited - Annual Review & Sustainability Report 2012 (Australia)
1st Runner-up: Marks and Spencer plc - How We Do Business Report 2012 (UK)
2nd Runner-up: Export Development Canada - CSR Report 2011 (Canada)
Pacific Hydro, one of two Australian reports that came out in the top 23 reports (which achieved the 27 top positions, three in each category) is a worthy winner, and is no stranger to CRRA, having won the Best SME report in CRRA '11. This year, Pacific Hydro produced a clean, well-written, direct report which clearly attracted voters, who gave this report a significant win, with a big margin, well ahead of the rest of the pack.

Credibility through Assurance
Winner: Vancouver City Savings Credit Union  - 2011 Annual Report
1st Runner-up: La Trobe University - Sustainability Report 2011
2nd Runner-up: Banco Bradesco SA - Sustainability Report 2011
This is Vancity's first win in all the CRRA years that they entered and they succeeded with the help of Ernst & Young Canada who delivered their Assurance Statement which carries out both reasonable assurance on reporting principles and carbon emissions, and limited assurance on performance information and targets. The statement is comprehensive and detailed and includes a recommendation for improvement. A good statement (one of the few we come across) which completes a good report.  
The full winners report is now freely available on the website here (login required).
If you are looking for inspiration as you move into  your 2013 report development and aspire to make the CRRA '14 leader board, this is a good place to start. Good luck! Congrats to all the winners!
elaine cohen, CSR consultant, winning (CRRA'12) Sustainability Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of Sustainability Reporting for SMEs: Competitive Advantage Through Transparency AND CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices Contact me via   or via my business website (Beyond Business Ltd, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)

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