One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy Hardcover – 19 Mar 2010
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"If you are an investor, shareholder or financial analyst, with aninterest in sustainability, you will probably enjoy the recentpublication, One Report. In this book, the authors offer astrong endorsement of integrated reporting, claiming a "compellingcase" for this to be adopted "all over the world, by public andprivate companies alike." ( csrwire.com, April 13, 2010)
"One Report is about creating a better corporatereporting system that integrates the reporting of financial,environmental, social, and governance performance, with aparticular focus on the ability of a company to operate in anenvironmentally sustainable manner. The book incorporates severalexcellent real–world examples of the One Report concept. Thebook is well–researched and the quality of the writing isexcellent." (accountingtools.com, April 2010)
"This is the first book I have seen on integrated reporting. Oneof the most telling points made in the book is the need forcompanies to integrate sustainable strategies into theirbusinesses. The authors go on to say that integrated reportingforces companies to do this because of the governance requirementsfacing organizations today. I also like the sections dealing withhow companies should be making use of social media such as Facebookto communicate and engage with stakeholders. The book is well worthreading. It is short and gives a good overview of the topic."(sustainabilitysa.org, April 2010)
"In an interview with IR Magazine, Krzus makes it clearthat he and Eccles aren′t touting a new product or service. Fortheir book, they identified and cataloged best practice by studyingcompanies such as the Netherlands′ Philips, Denmark′s Novo Nordisk,Brazil′s Natura, and US–based United Technologies Corporation."(thecrossbordergroup.com, March 9, 2010)
"Integrated reporting is the subject of Harvard Business SchoolSenior Lecturer Robert Eccles′ new book, One Report.According to Professor Eccles, there are only a handful ofcompanies in the world that practice integrated reporting. The ideabehind integrated reporting is much more than a static paperdocument or PDF. It′s a web–based approach that makes strategic useof Web 2.0 tools and technologies to enable users to do their ownanalyses. Integrated reporting offers several benefits...such asdeepened engagement with stakeholders, improved corporategovernance and communication of performance with "ONE"conversation. Just imagine, one conversation to share yourreputation." (reputationxchange.com, March 8, 2010)
From the Inside Flap
One Report Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy
The recent financial meltdown and the cur– rent climate crisismake greater transparency through better corporate reporting a moreurgent issue than ever. Best achieved by integrating requiredfinancial reporting with voluntary sustainability reporting, thispractice is now being adopted by leading companies all over theworld.
For companies that have truly embedded sustainability into theirstrategy and operations, integrated reporting is essential. OneReport explains why integrated reporting is necessary forsustainable company strategies and a sustainable society, providesinsights on how it can be done, and makes the case for it beingadopted in every country in the world.
Required reading for executives, shareholders, otherstakeholders, and government officials, One Report looksat:
The state of financial and nonfinancial reporting today and whyit is in a company′s best interests to practice integratedreporting
Companies that are currently practicing One Report, includingthe Dutch health care company Philips; the Danish pharmaceuticalcompany Novo Nordisk; the Brazilian cosmetics and fragrancescompany Natura; and U.S.–based United Technologies Corporation
How the Internet and Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be usedto improve corporate reporting and dialogue and engagement with allstakeholders
What must be done by companies, investors, governments, andcivil society to accelerate the broad adoption of integratedreporting for a sustainable society
Integrated reporting is taking off.
Get One Report and get prepared to embrace transparency in away that incorporates sustainability into your company′s overallstrategy. Our global society depends upon it.
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Top Customer Reviews
Eccles and Krzus have prepared a comprehensive and compelling case for the broad uptake of their `One Report' approach and share case studies of how it can work in a modern corporate environment. It doesn't take a great leap of faith to see how the, clearly articulated, arguments for implementing this `brave new world' of reporting heavily outweigh the complexities of making it a reality.
The book cleverly weaves the utilisation of current and future web technologies into its `One Report' fabric which then ensures a self-actualising strategy, for sustainability, embedded in the concept itself.
Eccles and Krzus have laid out a thorough and thoughtful roadmap for change. It is a `must-read' for every CEO & Senior Executive...but the question remains...are they ready to listen.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Part primer on the state of financial and nonfinancial reporting, part survey of successful integrated reporting practice, and part roadmap for implementing a new reporting structure mixed together with a healthy dose of commitment to and passion for the topic, One Report provides us with a framework for not only continuing a discussion, but for actionable, implementable change.
As the authors write, "Leadership depends upon individual initiative." Rather than waiting for it to be "too late," Eccles and Krzus offer us in plain language a look at companies willing to face the sustainability issue head on with the commitment of Boards and C-Suites through shop-floor personnel to greater transparency with integrated reporting, as well as a way to use Web 2.0/social media tools for more than sharing photos and rating restaurants.
Recognizing that "sustainable strategies are not that easy," Eccles and Krzus leverage their vast industry networks, connections to thought leaders (academics and practitioners), and their own creative energies to show corporations, legislative and regulatory bodies, and groups that comprise civil society how to take personal responsibility for making "integrated reporting a social movement" to which we all can contribute.
Integrated reporting has the potential to drive investment and spur competitiveness, on the dimensions of sustainability that really matter. While the book is excellent in terms of making the argument for integrated reporting, it is light on what should actually be in the condensed report, or how to figure that out. Materiality is central to determining this. Eccles and Krzus acknowledge that there is not even concensus on financial materiality, let alone non-financial materiality. This is too important a topic to leave to companies to figure out themselves. The holy grail is not integrated reporting- it is comparable reporting. In order to arrive at this, the SEC will need to issue guidance on materiality and/or a minimum set of KPIs to be reported by sector. This is what can take integrated reporting from a great idea to reality for all listed public companies in the US- with all the public and private benefits that will come from such an approach, as Eccles and Krzus argue so well.
The idea is simple. Eccles argues for companies to produce a single annual report that includes both financial and nonfinancial (e.g., on corporate social responsibility and sustainability metrics) performance information and making that information easily accessible to stakeholders. The idea of taking advantage of Web 2.0 tools to allow the reader to integrate the information in the way they want and when they want it fits squarely with the times. Professor Eccles's argument that integrated reporting provides a way for shareholders, customers, employees, communities as well as analysts to engage with companies more effectively is a winning argument in this new age of transparency and open engagement.
The examples of forward-looking companies who integrate reporting are fascinating and make you leap for the keyboard to find the companies named and see how they are integrating all this information with the click of a mouse. For me, one of the best parts is reading why leaders choose to use this form of reporting and what they learned from the experience. The writing is clear, engaging, rich with detail and resources, and takes you through the history, momentum for this type of reporting, technological considerations and a call to action.
While relatively few companies around the world today are practicing integrated reporting according to Eccles, interest is growing and he points out that a number of trends are accelerating its interest and adoption. These include the convergence in accounting standards, increasing adoption of CSR/sustainability reporting (often using guidelines developed by the Global Reporting Initiative), concerns about climate change, systemic risk in the financial system, globalization and the ability of all stakeholders to leverage the Internet to obtain and share information independent of what the company is providing. The compelling argument for me is that in today's world, if a company isn't actively pulling together a coherent and integrated presentation of its strategy and results in both financial and nonfinancial terms, the story about it will be shaped by others. As Eccles says, here is an opportunity for companies and their CEOs to improve their reputations for transparency, openness, leadership and engagement by seriously employing this type of unified reporting.
A commitment to integrated reporting must come from the very top, such as the CEO or board. The idea doesn't have to originate there, but it will only work if the CEO and board visibly demonstrate in both words and deeds their commitment to integrated reporting. With that green light, a variety of groups within the company such as finance, investor relations, corporate communications, public relations, marketing, the CSR department (if a separate one exists) and key business units can get involved and move the initiative forward.
Given that business is in a state of enormous transition and change with (hopefully) many old ways of doing things being questioned and radically new approaches being considered, Eccles's One Report lays out a process that should be taken seriously because this is the wave of the future!
1. Eccles and Krzus have made this a truly international book. Brilliant to see examples of leading edge corporate reporting taken from around the world. Many of the organizations mentioned in the book will come as no surprise, but I was fascinated to read about solutions provided by a Brazilian company called Aracruz. Until I read this book, they were certainly not on my radar screen!
2. Great to see reference so many recent events (eg Copenhagen climate conference)
3. The graphic on second page of this book illustrating the increasing use of the term "global warming" says it all in many ways! I also liked the way the authors then repeated this graphic by searching on other key words found in corporate reporting (eg sustainability, corporate social responsibility etc
4. Was interested to understand more about Web 2.0 and where the world is currently at with Web 3.0 and Integrated Reporting. (I'm not sure that many indivudals appreciate the latent potential in this new technology)
5. Krzus and Eccles say that integrated reporting requires the strong commitment of the CEO - how right they are! They also go to say that social change happens "one individual at a time" and this struck a pleasant chord with me.
6. Few people will be aware of Prince Charles' strong support for this initiative - this will come as a surprise to many.
7. Finally, the book's acknowledgements ends up being a "who's who" listing of individuals in the world of both financial and non-financial reporting. The insight these individuals shared with the authors and their research assistants makes this a very useful and thought provoking book, particularly if you have to decide not only what, but also how much, to include in your next corporate report.