Sunday, December 24, 2017

Santa Claus Inc. 2017 Harmonized Report

It's that warm fuzzy, jingle-belly, goodwilly time of the year again when we preview Santa's annual ESG disclosure. Santa has been reporting now for almost 2,000 years. It's amazing how Santa manages to keep reporting fresh, relevant, topical and most of all, impactful. Just like all those other companies that report year after year. Check out Santa's prior reports:

πŸŽ…Santa's 2016 Material Topics Report
πŸŽ…Santa’s 2015 SDG Report 
πŸŽ…Santa's 1750th Sustainability Report 2014
πŸŽ…Santa's First G4 Comprehensive Sustainability Report 2013 
πŸŽ…Santa's First Integrated Financial and CSR Report 2012
πŸŽ…Santa's 1,747th 2011 Annual CSR Report
πŸŽ…Santa's 1,746th 2010 Annual CSR Report
πŸŽ…Santa's 1,745th 2009 Annual CSR Report

Santa Claus Inc. 2017 Harmonized Report
πŸŽ… Leadership Message πŸŽ…

Dear Stakeholders,

I am delighted present you once again with Santa Claus Inc.'s annual disclosure of everything related to sustainability, making the world a better place, saving the planet, improving the quality of life, especially mine, and improving the impacts of business in society. In the true Christmas spirit of goodwill, sharing and joy to all women, men and children, I have decided that this should be a harmonized report, encompassing the best of all the sustainability frameworks that we know in one seamlessly blended, uniquely jargon-ridden, multi-platform report that will meet the demands of investors (YAY! Love investors) and all other stakeholders, unless they blink. I know this is venturing into ground hitherto uncharted by humankind and that, despite years of harmonization hype, aligning frameworks has never been anything more than a smokescreen for different organizations to pursue different dreams and funders. But Santa has always boldly aimed to go where all Santa lookalikes and CSR Managers have never trodden. I am therefore delighted to share our harmonized account of our value-creating, investor-ready, multi-stakeholder driven 2017 sustainability net positive impact report on all our capitals in all their resplendent transparency. 

2017 was not a particularly harmonious year for Santa. Troubled by fallout from Climate Change, Trumpification, Brexitisation, Falsefactsification, SDGification of every problem known to man (and woman), and the fact that Santa has STILL not been invited to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show, for the first time in more than a century, we did not hit our quadruple net profit target. In 2017, we grew toy-distribution value only by 563% and profits increased only by 99.5%, making this a year in which Santa had to tighten his belt. In fact, Santa tightened his belt so much that he was rushed to Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital ER where Meredith Grey had to perform an emergency heart transplant. The problem was finding a heart big enough to hold all Santa's love for the children of the world, which simply wasn't possible. Therefore, as Meredith is so creative and resourceful, she transplanted Santa's heart with four new hearts, making Santa even more loving, generous and positive-spirited than before. As a result, Santa immediately ordered double toys for all the world's children, which caused a further drop in profits and heart failure in three of the four new hearts. To resolve this problem, Meredith fitted 3D printed hearts to replace the failed hearts and created a medical history phenomenon in the process. Santa is now charging a special Santa Heart-4-Heart Viewing fee payable to the "I Love Santa " Fund and has raised $4 billion to date.  In addition, Santa has created a "Perform Emergency Heart Surgery on Santa" Donation App, modeled on a similar educational app, and this has already been downloaded more than 2 million times. The moral of this story is: Watch Grey's Anatomy. You can never have too many hearts.

But 2017 did bring some nuggets of optimism. On Sept. 4, Kensington Palace announced that Prince William and Duchess Kate were expecting a sibling for Prince George and Princess Charlotte. That makes three toddlers who now require special Santa gifts. Santa loves the Royal Children, though finding toys for such privileged children is always a headache at Christmas. In 2017, Santa decided to be true to the Chopra Center's Law of Giving and Receiving where it says: Each time I meet someone, I will silently wish them happiness, joy, and laughter.  So, this is what Santa is getting for the Royal Children this year and for the Royal siblings en route. And let's not forget of course that Prince Harry has announced his entry into show business with his engagement to Meghan Markle, so no doubt the pitter-patter of tiny feet will be sounding through more corridors of the royal residences before long - so silently wishing them happiness, joy and laughter will be a smart strategy going forward. But in fact, the betrothal of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is a tremendous commercial opportunity. Already you can buy incredible Harry and Meghan merchandise online and in all the best stores. This is brilliant. Santa, never one to miss a hint of profit potential, is now thinking of announcing his own marriage in order to be able to sell Santa Wedding Memorabilia. Santa doesn't want to get married, so this is a double opportunity. In a few months' time, we can announce Santa Wedding Cancellation Memorabilia. The Royal Family is always a good source of inspiration.

Also in 2017 we decided to renew our mission and values. Here are the old ones we developed in 2011.

To perpetuate the love of Santa

Faith in Santa
Disabled-Access Chimneys
Elf Emancipation
Reindeer Rights
Children's Universal Right to Gifts
Santa World Domination 

In the interests of brevity, we have decided to reduce our values to two.

Santa World Domination and Sustainability
Santa World Domination and Sustainability

In this way, we can use our new values to more effectively guide us in our mission and enjoy all the fuzzy feelings that are generated when people hear us talking about sustainability. From now on, focusing on Santa World Domination means that we will no longer be at the mercy of Reindeer Freedom Fighters, Elf Emancipation Activists or Teresa May's Brexit negotiation strategy. In fact, as a result of the UK Brexit vote, we have moved all our toy assembly centers out of the UK and transferred them to other parts of the Eurozone. If you are a kid in the UK, you will now receive toys saying "FabriquΓ© en France" or "Hergestellt in Deutschland" together with a language pack for reading the instructions in another language. But don't worry, all the carbon emissions generated by long-hauling toys across Europe will be offset by funds generously donated by Berlitz.

Santa's Materiality Matrix
In this 2017 harmonized report, we have recreated our new materiality matrix, recognizing that our GRI, SASB, IR, Future Fit and UNGC Reporting framework must now appeal to shareholders, stakeholders, landholders, smallholders, cardholders, freeholders, pen-holders, upholders and with-holders. As a result, we completed a deep-dive materiality process, starting with a thorough scan of the entire universe of sustainability topics using advanced data-mining algorithms powered by Datamaran, and this yielded a list of 3,564 relevant topics for consideration. After 23 elf and reindeer focus groups, and of course our assumptions about what's important to our stakeholders, we managed to whittle this down to just 4 topics that represent our most material impacts on the world and the most significant assumed concerns of stakeholders, and taking into account the SDGs as well. These are:
  • Santa's well-being
  • World happiness especially in Lapland
  • Elimination of everything bad in the world including hunger, poverty, sickness, lying, cheating and Santa counterfeits
  • Free distribution of money to everyone who needs it especially Santa
Based on this list of material topics, we have formulated a new Sustainability Strategy. It's quite a simple one. It's Santa-centric. If Santa is not at the center, it doesn't count. We will progress actions that advance Santa centricity and provide solutions to the material topics above. An initial step will be to build a wall around Lapland to restrict immigration of unwanted elves and then we will declare war on a few countries. In this way, we will make beneficial Santa Domination far more sustainable for current and future generations.

New Year's Giving - the UNGC Way
From 2018, we have adopted a new approach to giving, modeled on the super creative UN Global Compact new plan for 2018. As you may know, the UNGC is now offering two new ways of confirming support for the largest global responsible business initiative. You can become a new-style first-class Participant and pay lots of money, or you can become a second-class Signatory and pay less lots of money. What you cannot do is stay as you are and pay no money. This is a wonderful approach to giving. All the 8,000 plus business signatories of the UNGC will now have to pass on a part of their bank balance to the UN account or be reduced to oblivion, wiped forever off the face of the UNGC website. Santa thinks this is a wonderful approach to giving for 2018. Therefore, effective next year, those who are eligible to receive a gift from Santa will first have to register as a Receiver or an Observer. As a Receiver, you get to pay lots of money and receive a toy that you can play with anywhere you like. As an Observer, you get to pay less lots of money, you get a toy but you are not actually allowed to play with it outside your own home. If you do not register, and/or do not pay money, all the gifts you have previously received will be removed and destroyed and you will never get them back. This is a modern way of spreading the Christmas spirit and enables everyone to enjoy the goodness in the world, for a fee. In this way, Santa will be able to continue to enjoy the lifestyle to which he is accustomed and the UNGC will continue to be able to hold conferences and meetings and have a blast on Black Friday.

New App for iPhone X: SantaPay
All of us here at Santa Claus Inc. have been impressed with the development of Apple Pay. Apple Pay transactions are becoming exceedingly common, and parting with your money has never been easier. Having discovered the benefits of Apple Pay, Santa saw a clear opportunity to develop a way for people around the globe to painlessly support world salvation, environmental sustainability and Santa Domination. With the new Santa Pay app specially designed for iPhone X, no matter what you buy or where you buy it or from whom, a portion of your payment goes directly to the Santa Retirement Fund. In an unprecedented mega-deal with Apple, all sales of the new iPhone X will contain a special spiritual Santa Pay message, advising the new iPhone X owner that all toys purchased this Christmas through Apple Pay will automatically create a double transaction, whereby the equivalent value of an additional toy will be debited in parallel to Santa Pay. Sums accruing to Santa Pay will be delivered to the tax-free Santa Retirement Fund, which, in 2017, reached a total of $932 billion, enough to fund the acquisition of a private island in the Caribbean so that Santa can live out the remainder of his days in peace and harmony. Unfortunately, due to climate change, the island Santa had in mind is now partly submerged in the Caribbean Sea. In addition, therefore, to stocking up on mince pies and Hallmark Christmas movie DVDs to enjoy during his retirement, Santa is investing in land reclamation technology, a desalination plant and several snorkels. 

A new Santa Blockchain Initiative
As the blockchain economy is starting to gain ground, Santa has been considering how best to leverage blockchain for the benefit of children everywhere. Unfortunately, blockchain is so complex that Santa hasn't quite got to grips with it yet. His first attempt to create a blockchain failed when the block fell off the sleigh and the reindeer ate the chain. The second attempt was equally unsuccessful. The block was chipped and the chain slipped off and got caught around Santa's ankle, causing him to fall and break three bones in his foot. As a result, the Santa Claus Inc. Lost-Time Injury rate tripled in 2017 (The incident in which fourteen elves were found dead following a fire in the toy factory was not recorded in 2017, as there was some doubt as to whether the cause of death was actually the fire, or a suicide pact among senior elves. Elves were protesting against distribution of bitcoins instead of real toys at Christmas, reducing the need for toy assembly, quality control and distribution and therefore reducing several elf jobs. Despite attempts to reassure the senior elves that job security would not be affected by the introduction of bitcoins, many elves suffered severe depression and set fire to both the factory and themselves. However, Santa was not overly worried, as the elf headcount has now reduced sufficiently to avoid significant layoffs in 2018.)

According to Santa, bitcoins are the new toys, and children of the world can collect bitcoins and trade them, thereby offering children great flexibility and choice for their personal entertainment and leisure time while having a positive impact on the environment. Unfortunately, the first 500,000 bitcoins distributed were triple-traded by cryptocurrency-savvy kids who circumvented the blockchain. This resulted in the market being flooded with invalid bitcoins and ultimately crashing - reducing the value of all bitcoins to little more than zero. Many bitcoin traders lost their jobs, their homes and their dignity. Several bitcoin trading houses closed down and the U.S. federal government intervened with a massive bailout. People were evicted from homes they bought with bitcoins. A senior commentator likened this to the economic crisis of 2008 and blamed greed, excess and selfishness.

Santa was initially devastated but eventually realized that bitcoin fraud is simply another capitalist scam that forces people to realize that family, friends, love, harmony and joy to the world are actually more important than amassing great virtual wealth. Therefore, Santa reverted to supplying real toys distributed by real elves and real reindeer to real kids in the real world. Of course, he kept a few bitcoins back for himself, just in case. Bitcoins and blockchains may be a little before their time, but Santa plans to be ahead of the game when they come back to dominate our economy.

Reporting on the capitals
As this is a harmonized report, we include a special feature for the very first time, covering our impact on the capitals. We are not entirely sure that this is a sensible way to report performance, nor does Santa think it represents a consistent way of presenting value creation. However, as modern, forward-thinking, good-life-appreciating stakeholders like to talk in capitals, we decided to fall in line. 

Financial Capital: This represents the financial value we create for our shareholders and communities. Of course, as you all know Santa Claus Inc. is a form of social enterprise because we perform our main function of disseminating joy in the world through the toys we provide for children free of charge. Therefore, we do not have revenues, we do not pay taxes and we do not manage working capital or cash flow. Indirectly, we contribute to improving financial capital by making people happy. Happy people are more motivated at work and therefore make more money for the world economy. 
Manufacturing capital: We do not have any manufacturing capital as all the toys we distribute are manufactured by someone else. Our elves do some toy assembly work, but this is mainly reserved for elf interns who we do not pay. In lieu of payment, all interns are treated to a personal meeting with Santa each year and can include working at Santa Claus Inc. on their resume, thereby significantly enhancing their future employability.
Human capital: We do not have any human capital as all our work is performed by elves and reindeer. We did once think of hiring humans but most did not want to relocate to Lapland, and several did not have chimney sweeping skills. The value we create in terms of human capital at a global level is indirect: through the educational toys we distribute to children, they become more intelligent, well-rounded individuals that have enhanced potential to make the world a better place. Of course, we do have a plan to stop distributing toy rifles, fidget spinners and waitress uniforms.
Social and relationship capital: Our social and relationship capital is expressed in the positive partnerships that Santa forges with toy suppliers everywhere in the world. Santa's ability to persuade toy-makers to contribute their goods for free every year represents an unprecedented level of social capital that results in happy kids everywhere. (Except for the ones that asked for iPhone X's in their Christmas stocking. Even Santa draws the line at toys that retail at more than $1000).
Intellectual capital: We don't have intellectual capital and frankly we don't need it. In any case, we aren't entirely sure how to measure it. We just continue to spread joy and goodwill - for that we need a big heart and not a very big brain. Santa did once consider joining MENSA but they refused to approve his application after he responded "ice cream" to the question: "What is the most important food on earth that no-one can live without?"
Natural capital: Our impact on natural capital is minimal. Over several years, we have reduced our carbon footprint through use of renewable reindeer power for our sleighs, low-methane diets for our reindeer and carpooling for our elves. We only use water from recycled melted local Lapland ice and we recycle all our packaging and other organic waste. Our bathrooms use dry-flush and our faucets are metered. Therefore, our natural capital is hardly noticeable and there is nothing terribly interesting to disclose.

Ah well, so much for reporting on all the capitals. I am sure you found that very enlightening. Not. However, at least we cannot be accused of not joining the integrated reporting revolution rumor.

Business development - Santa diversification
In 2017, Santa developed several new business lines designed to ensure the Santa brand continues to be top of mind and top of credit card. A few of our new sustainable business lines are just getting started:

Santa Eco Spa and Relaxation Resort: Relax in an authentic, elegant, secluded getaway on Santa's private eco-island in the Caribbean. Immerse yourself in nature in a fully carbon-offset environment where the locals pamper to your every need (unless you are sparing with the tips). Whether you are looking for a sumptuous spa experience, expansive green golf courses, exhilarating tennis, visits to a live volcano (don't forget to buy insurance) or spending a quiet evening watching Hallmark Christmas movies on DVD, Santa's Eco Resort has something for you. Santa personally greets each guest and models the latest Santa fashions for you to purchase for your next Christmas Party.  

Santa Cookies: Lose weight with a new line of delicious Santa Cookies that reverse the metabolic process of calorie burning in your body. Instead of gaining weight, Santa's cookies actually cause the reverse effect - the more cookies you eat, the more weight you lose. The cookie has been developed by an army of Santa elf scientists and nutritionists after years of dedicated research in an attempt to fulfill the most wished-for Christmas gift - getting slim. Now, with Santa's Cookies, available in a range of flavors (charcoal, sour milk, toad's finger, bat droppings), you can consume cookies till you burst and still be able to slip easily into last year's skinny jeans. With recipes under patent, Santa's Cookies will revolutionize weight loss and finally put an end to the growing obesity epidemic that has been plaguing the first world since McDonald's invented fries and food companies learned to drown food's natural flavor in sugar.

Santa in Shondaland: Santa has signed up to star in two new Shondaland series: How to Get Away with Murder while you are Delivering Toys and Santa's Anatomy. Both will air in 2018, and while we are not allowed to share any spoilers, suffice it to say that the first is a storyline about Santa delivering toys to the White House, and the second is X rated.

Sexual Harassment - Santa under fire
Like most of today's male celebrities and prominent political figures, Santa too has been under fire for alleged sexual misconduct. Following a complaint by a (now retired) female elf of inappropriate personal contact and sexist language by Santa, a further 4,534 female elves have now registered complaints with the Santa Ethical Conduct Authority for misconduct between the years 1843 and 2013. Santa maintains that he has the highest respect for all his elves, male and female, and has no recollection of any inappropriate behavior on his part. Santa apologizes if any of the elves got the wrong impression at any time as he would never wish to offend. Litigation is ongoing but in the meantime, Santa expects to continue delivering toys and making children happy. He is hoping that, if he continues with business as usual, it will all just go away. The fact that the new hashtag #MeToo:Elf is trending on Twitter might indicate that this strategy has some holes in it.

Safety first: toys we delisted this year
In an ongoing effort to ensure the toys Santa distributes are safe for all children, we have taken bold steps to delist the following toys from our distribution this year:

  • Motorized alligators with moving jaws and real teeth (423 toddlers now only have nine fingers)
  • Doctor sets with real opioids (the grown-ups kept playing with it)
  • High-flying drones with magnifying photo lenses (too many complaints from neighbors who left bedroom curtains open)
  • High-bouncing trampolines (85 toddlers reported sighted in outer space) 
  • Build the Eiffel Tower with matchsticks construction kit (Eiffel Tower kept burning down during construction)
Diversity in the Workplace
This year, Santa introduced a new approach to diversity in the workplace. Neurodiversity is a competitive advantage  says the Harvard Business Review. Neurodiverse people bring different considerations to the workplace and seriously boost innovation. When looking for neurodiverse elves, we found that we had to adapt our regular recruitment procedures. Now, instead of having elf candidates take a multiple-choice test, similar to the GRI Standards Exam, which is a pretty useless predictor of their ability to perform Santa's outstanding work, we actually get to know the neurodiverse elves and encourage them to feel welcomed and express themselves freely. So far, we have recruited 4 neurodiverse elves and they are already making a positive contribution and we were delighted to feature in Diversity Inc.'s list of top 500 neurodiverse workplaces for 2017. In fact, we are now considering expanding our neurodiverse recruiting practices to all potential elf employees. Perhaps there might be some advantage in seeing all potential employees as individuals rather than as numbers on a resume. You never know. We can only try. 
Recognition from our Stakeholders 
As usual, this year, we received far more awards than we are able to mention in this report. Suffice it to say that the most welcome ones included a cash payment to the Santa Retirement Fund.

Feedback on this Report 
We will be happy to receive your feedback on this report, as long as it's positive.

So, until we meet again.....

We Wish You and Everyone in the World a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year 


elaine cohen, CSR Consultant, Sustainability Reporter, former HR Professional, Trust Across America 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, Ice Cream Addict, Author of three totally groundbreaking books on sustainability (see About Me page). Contact me via Twitter (@elainecohen) or via my business website (Beyond Business Ltd, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm). Need help writing your first / next Sustainability Report? Contact elaine: 

Elaine will be chairing  the edie Conference on Smarter Sustainability Reporting  in London on 27th February 2018 

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