Thursday, April 30, 2009

SRI assets jump 21% to more than $600 billion

Asset invested according to socially responsible (SRI) guidelines increased to $609.23 billion from $503.61 billion, from 2006 to June 30, 2008, according to the Social Investment Organization’s biennial industry study, which was released today.

“While the growth rate [21%] was lower than the growth rate experienced by SRI in the 2004 to 2006 period, this report shows that SRI is continuing to occupy a significant share of the financial services market in Canada,” the study notes.

Core SRI assets, defined as those most closely associated with traditional values-based approaches to SRI, declined to $54.17 billion from $57.39 billion in 2006, a decrease of 5.6%. This decline was attributable to general market conditions rather than a reduction in the number of managers with SRI mandates. The decline was most pronounced among asset managers with institutional clients, partially offset by an increase in retail SRI funds, particularly due to growth in renewable energy income trusts, the study revealed.

Broad SRI assets, which include strategies to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into financial analysis and portfolio management, was responsible for most of the growth in overall SRI assets, rising to $555.06 billion from $446.22 billion two years earlier.

“The growth reflects a small increase in the number of pension plans and endowments with responsible investment policies, as well as asset growth by pension funds with existing responsible investment policies. This growth was partially offset by a decline in asset managers with institutional mandates using ESG integration strategies. Sustainable venture capital, while representing a relatively small part of total SRI assets, continued to enjoy substantial growth between 2006 and 2008.”

The study found that $544.13 billion in pension and endowment assets invested under responsible investment policies in Canada in 2008, a 26% increase from $433.07 billion in 2006. “These assets are mostly in the large public pension sector, reflecting a consensus among the managers of Canada’s large public pensions that responsible investment represents a prudent policy for investment fiduciaries.”

Pension and endowment assets are the single largest component of assets in the wider SRI category, as well as the largest component of SRI in total. While the 26% growth rate is substantial, the growth rate between 2006 and 2008 was much smaller than the growth rate between 2004 and 2006, when a number of pension managers first adopted responsible investment policies.

At the end of June 2008, retail investment funds fund assets totalled $22.19 billion, a 22% cent increase from 2006. This includes $8.41 billion in assets of renewable energy income trusts, a 40% increase from 2006; $8.24 billion in assets of socially responsible retail venture funds, an increase of 7.2% from 2006; and $5.54 billion in assets of socially responsible mutual funds, an increase of 25% cent from two years earlier.

As a comparison, market growth in this period was 24%, as measured by the S&P/TSX Composite Index meaning that growth in the renewable energy income trusts exceeded market growth, growth in SRI retail venture capital funds was below market growth and growth in SRI mutual funds was about the same as market growth.

“At more than $600 billion in core and broad SRI strategies, socially responsible investment is holding steady at nearly 20% of assets under management in Canada, the study concludes. “Screened and integrated approaches by asset managers suffered declines in assets as a result of general market conditions, but these declines were more than offset by continued growth in broad SRI strategies by large public sector pension plans. In addition, while small by comparison with total assets, substantial growth continued among SRI mutual funds, renewable energy income trusts and sustainable venture capital.”

The market downturn in the second half of 2008 is not reflected in the report, but the SIO says it believes that SRI is well-positioned to survive the current economic turmoil and resume its impressive growth pattern.

“In spite of these difficult times, there is evidence that Canadians want their investments to pose solutions to global social and environmental issues, not to simply profit from the status quo. Socially responsible investment is proposing such solutions through investment screens, integration of social and environmental issues into the investment process, corporate engagement on social and environmental issues, sustainable venture capital, community investment, social finance and ethical lending.”

“We believe that socially responsible investment represents the leading edge of the investment industry, and points the way forward for mainstream analysis and investment selection in the years ahead.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ethical gets some shareholder support at Barrick AGM

Ethical Funds received the support of nearly 20% of shareholders for a proposal filed at Barrick’s annual general meeting on Wednesday in Toronto.

After five years of dialogue with company and a site visit to Barrick’s operations in Nevada, Ethical asked that Barrick hire an independent party to assess performance against the Company’s current community engagement and sustainable development guidelines.

In response to the proposal, Barrick has committed to review its existing policies in 2009 as part of its membership obligations in the International Council of Mining and Metals. However, many shareholders believe the core risks associated with on-the-ground performance will not be captured by an industry review of existing policy alone.

“The risk here is the ability of Barrick to maintain its social license to operate,” said Bob Walker, vice president of sustainability for Ethical Funds. “Without an independent review focused on community engagement practices and getting robust feedback from the affected communities, investors cannot properly evaluate the company’s performance.”

“Barrick has good policies in place but is falling behind industry best practices, given that competitors Newmont Gold and Goldcorp Inc. have recently conducted independent reviews of their community engagement policies and performance to address similar risks, at the request of shareholders,” Walker added.

The controversy over Barrick heated up earlier this year when Norway’s state pension fund divested from the gold miner, citing environmental concerns and human rights violations.

“We are active shareholders and we are looking for action from Barrick to address these social issues,” Walker added. “We must own to engage and address risks – Barrick has strong policies; it’s time to see them realized.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

SIO questions need for new corporate governance rules

The Social Investment Organization (SIO) says the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) proposed change to Canada’s corporate governance policy does not improve the current regime.

In a letter to the CSA, SIO executive director Eugene Ellmen notes that under the existing “comply or explain” model, Canada has scored consistently at or near the top of international rankings of corporate governance.

“Issuers in Canada have expended significant time, staff resources and compliance costs in meeting the “comply or explain” model,” the letter states. “We believe that the proposed principles-based model would inject unnecessary confusion into the corporate governance framework. Further, companies that are corporate governance laggards would escape the requirement under the current rules to explain their weak corporate governance structures, thereby encouraging lower corporate governance standards, not higher standards. The result would be higher costs for issuers, uncertainty for issuers’ management, and a gradual lowering of Canada’s corporate governance standards.”

However, the SIO does offer up a number of suggestions to the CSA for improved corporate governance, such as further consultations on the issue of shareholder voting practices, and the issuance of an additional National Instrument specifically mandating required voting practices for shareholders.

The SIO also suggests that that CSA consider establishing “one or more permanent consultative bodies to bring forward the views of the public and important stakeholder groups on emerging securities issues, such as corporate governance, continuous disclosure and investor protection. These bodies should have sufficient resources to independently conduct research and gather opinion on their mandates.”

The SIO submission to the CSA is available here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Talisman takes socially responsible step

Canadian mining company Talisman has agreed to prepare a report on how its operations affect indigenous peoples around the world, focused on the concepts of free, prior and informed consent.

The agreement was reached following discussions with Bâtirente, a Quebec-based non-profit organization created by the Confederation of National Trade Unions and Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale et l’équité (RRSE), a network of religious communities, NGOs, private foundations and individuals which aims to promote corporate social responsibility through shareholder engagement. Bâtirente and RRSE members hold shares of Talisman Energy.

“Talisman will conduct research and develop a report that will define and assess the benefits of adopting and implementing policies and procedures for securing and maintaining free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous communities impacted by Talisman’s operations,” Bâtirente said in a news release.

The report will focus on the concept of FPIC as it pertains to corporations engaging with indigenous communities in the various parts of the world where Talisman operates and will also examine current best practices in this area.

Gare Smith, a partner with business law firm Foley Hoag LLP and corporate social responsibility expert, will produce the report, which will also be reviewed by the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank that has published two reports on how FPIC can be implemented by extractive companies such as Talisman.

“By investigating the notion of FPIC and its implementation, Talisman is taking an important step in developing its community relations approach,” said François Meloche, Extra Financial Risk Manager with Bâtirente.

“We hope that this report will allow Talisman to lead the industry by demonstrating that FPIC can make business sense and be a key part of good community relations,” added Philippe Bélanger, analyst with RRSE.

The report will be available to shareholders and the public before Talisman’s annual shareholder meeting in 2010.

Talisman has a checkered history with social investors. The company was forced to sell its stake in a controversial oil project in Sudan after being threatened with sanctions and divestment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009 Environment vs Economy

"While one third think environmental choices will be tougher to make in these times, a significant majority think it will have no impact or even a positive impact – a surprising and important signal that fewer Canadians now believe there is always a forced choice between the economy and the environment." This was one of the conclusions from the Harris-Decima Earth Day poll released yesterday.

However, in the States, a Gallup poll which has been asking Americans about trade offs between the economy and the environment since 1984 is much less hopeful. The latest results show that “Americans are more willing than ever to forgo protection of the environment if needed in order to ensure economic growth or the production of energy.”

The false dichotomy of the environment or the economy has always been a problem for the SRI community. We face it constantly in a slightly different form when it’s posed to investors as ‘do you want to do good or do you want to make money?’ The companies we want to invest in must also address it as current economic models often make their socially responsible choices more financially expensive. Until desecration of our earth – air, water and resources - are adequately quantified and built into financial and economic analysis, it will continue to appear ‘cheaper’ to pollute and pass that cost on to taxpayers or simply to have it absorbed by the environment.

A ray of hope appears in a 2008 report from the OECD, Sustainable Development: Linking Economy, Society, Environment. In an attempt to nail down that amorphous and ever present word ‘sustainability’, it raises some interesting points and challenges.

One of the most useful of these is the idea that a society’s total capital base will encompass five types of capital.
• financial capital like stocks, bonds and currency deposits
• produced capital like machinery, buildings, telecommunications and other types of infrastructure
• natural capital in the form of natural resources, land and ecosystems providing services like waste absorption
• human capital in the form of an educated and healthy workforce
• social capital in the form of functioning social networks and institutions.

And three cheers for the OECDs statement that “economic growth alone is not enough to solve the world’s problems: the economic, social and environmental aspects of any action are interconnected.” That’s an insight that could lead the way to a happier Earth.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Responsible investment and fixed income

In a recent commentary, investment consultant Mercer noted that while the responsible investment movement continues to gain momentum, the focus has been almost entirely on publicly-listed equities, with the bond market being more or less ignored.

“Amongst major asset classes, fixed income stands out as something of a forgotten child,” Mercer noted. “After all, the market capitalization of fixed income markets globally exceeds that of equity markets. But where are the managers with highly developed environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration in fixed income? Where are the SRI fixed income strategies? Where are the RI fixed income indices? Where are the opportunities for ESG themed investment in fixed income? The answer is that all of the above exist, but they have much less prominence than their counterparts in equity markets.”

Mercer says there are some very good reasons for the low profile of responsible investment (RI) in the fixed income world. “Firstly, single country government bond mandates make up a large slice of overall fixed income strategies and the scope to apply RI techniques in such strategies is relatively limited. Incorporating analysis of ESG issues into management of multi-country government bond strategies, whilst possible, raises some very difficult issues which are not encountered in equity strategies. Even with corporate bond strategies, the scope for active ownership is much more limited than in equity strategies and this slows down the penetration of RI thinking.”

Still, asset owners wishing to adopt responsible investment in their fixed income portfolios have options spanning broadly similar terrain to those available in relation to equity investments, Mercer points out. Those options include engagement, screening, ESG integration in corporate bond portfolios and ESG-themed investment.

“We expect that over time greater attention will be paid to RI in fixed income,” Mercer says. “After all, signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment have given a commitment to integrate ESG into investment decisions across all asset classes.”

Mercer plans to release a white paper on responsible investment in fixed income, addressing issues such as: the characteristics of the fixed income market which contribute to the slower progress in incorporating RI and which will affect the way that the market develops; the merits of various RI techniques (screening, integration, etc.) in a fixed income context; ESG integration in fixed income; as well as a review of microfinance and community investment for ESG-themed fixed income investment.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ontario legislature supports looking at ESG disclosure

Here's the text of the motion proposed by Laurel Broten last Thursday and carried by the house.

Be it resolved that, in the opinion of this House, the province of Ontario should undertake a review of Ontario's current corporate disclosure reporting requirements, standards and compliance therewith, with a particular emphasis on additional financial and non-financial information to ensure that Ontario investors have access to all information material to them in making investment decisions.
That, in undertaking such a review, the Ontario Securities Commission ("OSC") should undertake a broad consultation with its own advisory bodies including the Continuous Disclosure Committee, concerned stakeholders, appropriate interest groups and individuals and other securities regulators, to establish best practice corporate social responsibility ("CSR") and environmental, social and governance (" ESG") reporting standards.
That the OSC seek to develop and adopt an enhanced standardized reporting framework for both quantitative and qualitative social and environmental information to ensure corporate disclosures are understandable, comparable and outcome-focused.
That the OSC shall report back to the Minister of Finance no later than January 1, 2010, with regard to its findings, together with recommendations for next steps to enhance disclosure.

This is an important step forward both in terms of providing information on environmental and social factors to investors, and in encouraging companies to report on these issues on a level playing field. It will also move Ontario into the forefront of best practices, providing a solid groundwork for the new, greener economy we are building. Congratulations to all those in the SRI community who helped make this happen, and an especially warm round of applause to Ms. Broten.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

EaSter eGgs

Cadbury announced that its Dairy Milk bar will become Fairtrade certified in Britain and Ireland. The decision will transform Fairtrade chocolate from a niche preference to a mainstream ethical benchmark, encompassing 15% of chocolate sold in Britain. Cadbury's chief executive, Todd Stitzer, said he plans to convert the group's other chocolate brands to Fairtrade "as soon as we can do it." Dairy Milk is the first mainstream chocolate bar to be sold with a commitment to pay cocoa suppliers the "Fairtrade premium," i.e. a living wage.

The Association of Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers, a cooperative of 18 industrial chocolate companies, says it is working to ensure Switzerland's world-famous chocolate is produced under fair and ethical practices. "We are aware of our social responsibilities as employers and are committed to a social partnership," the association says.

About 60% of the worldwide cocoa production comes from West Africa, with the bulk of the beans coming from Ivory Coast, a particularly problematic country for child labour abuse. The Cocoa Protocol was introduced as a voluntary, industry-wide protocol that chocolate producers signed in 2001. It set out to eliminate child labour and forced labour from West African cocoa farms by July 2005. The industry failed to meet target goals in the protocol in time, so the deadline was extended to 2008 and then again to 2010. Perhaps economic clout can do what (admittedly toothless) political action could not.

In Canada, lots of Cadbury chocolate is available, and note that Cadbury also owns Green and Blacks, makers of yummy mini eggs.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ontario regulator asked to improve reporting and disclosure standards

The Ontario government has passed a motion calling on the province’s securities regulator to review current corporate reporting standards and to produce recommendations for enhanced disclosure.

The resolution calls on the Ontario Securities Commission to review its current reporting requirements, consult with concerned stakeholders and to produce recommendations to enhance disclosure. The OSC should be aiming “to establish best practice corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting standards,” the resolution states.

The motion, which passed unanimously yesterday, calls on the OSC to report back to the Minister of Finance by January 1, 2010 with recommendations. The private members’ bill was introduced by Liberal MPP Laurel Broten, a former Ontario environment minister.

“I am so pleased that the Ontario legislature provided its support for this important initiative,” Broten said in a news release. “With the current economic downturn, it is more important than ever to enhance disclosure in an effort to provide greater confidence and protection for individual investors as they seek to make investment decisions.”

Sustainable and social investment groups are strongly supporting the resolution.

“The Social Investment Organization believes this consultation will be an important step forward in bringing ESG disclosure to Ontario and, possibly to other jurisdictions, through the Canadian Securities Administrators," says SIO executive director Eugene Ellmen. “This is an important public policy priority for the socially responsible investment industry. I have already indicated the willingness of the SIO to work with the OSC on the consultation.”

“There is a double-win opportunity here: investors get richer information with which they can make better decisions, and those decisions will in turn incentivize companies to improve their performance of climate change and other sustainability risk factors,” added Matthew Kiernan, chief executive of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. “The proposed measures would catapult Ontario into a position of not only national leadership, but match best-practice internationally.”

“Greater transparency, or disclosure, of environmental and social factors is a practical, affordable and feasible method of improving the quality of the information investors use to assess the investment options available to them,” says SHARE executive director Peter Chapman.

Institutional investors will also benefit from the consultation, says Jane Ambachtsheer, national partner at Mercer. “Hundreds of pension funds and asset managers representing trillions of dollars regularly seek heightened disclosure from the companies they invest in,” she said. “The recent rise in global investor collaboration has been phenomenal. Investment fiduciaries want to know how companies are managing environmental, social and governance factors because they need this information to effectively manage the related risks, and seize the opportunities.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cash is king, and SRI cash is even better...

As part of a column on keeping cash in your RRIF to fund the payments, Rob Carrick said last Saturday “Mr. Andreana uses a high-yield savings account to hold his clients' three-year cash supply. Offered by National Bank, B2B Trust and Dundee Bank of Canada, these accounts can be held within a RRIF, an RRSP or another type of account. Money market funds, especially supersafe T-bill funds, are also an option for the cash in your RRIF. But while returns for these funds are below 0.6 per cent in many cases right now, high-yield savings accounts pay as much as 1.6 per cent.”

Well, he forgot our own SRI high yield savings account offered by Inhance and backed with CDIC insurance from Citizens Bank. The rates have dropped to 1.4%, but Inhance remains competitive with Dundee and National Bank, all of whom are positioned slightly higher than National Bank (which has rebranded the old Altamira Cash Performer).

On the money market front, a new report by Novethic ‘The Challenges Facing SRI Money Market Funds’ states “The emergence of a money market offer could provide a prime opportunity for the development of SRI. Although SRI is generally associated with long-term investment products, issuers could eventually be pushed into applying sustainable development criteria in order to benefit from easy access to short-term credit, given the considerable sums invested in money market funds - provided they meet ESG criteria. This could also have a domino effect, in turn impacting equity and bond markets and driving issuers into an upward spiral.” Bring it on!

Money Market funds have traditionally been trusted as safe havens for cash. However, the current interest rate environment is challenging, and some funds are moving towards higher risk holdings in order to improve returns. Whether retail investors understand that they are taking on higher risk for these higher returns is unclear. Certainly, it continues to be a time when transparency, as well as cash, is king.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Social investors left waiting for fundamental financial reforms

Sustainable and social investment advocates may be feeling short-changed by last week’s G20 summit in London, despite a pledge by world leaders to set aside more than $1 trillion US in an effort to overhaul the financial system and keep the global economy from slipping into a depression.

For the first time ever, six regional sustainable and social investment lobby groups, including Canada’s Social Investment Organization, came together, issuing a joint communiqué urging world leaders to transform global capital markets by “building the infrastructure, technologies and skills needed for a low carbon, resource efficient and socially sustainable economy using well-designed financial instruments and incentives for private investment together with direct government support.”

“The current economic crisis affords a unique opportunity and imperative to transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient and socially sustainable economy,” read the statement, which was also signed by ASrIA (Asia), Eurosif (Europe), RIAA ( Australia ), Social Investment Forum ( United States ) and UKSIF ( United Kingdom ).

Other proposed measures include financial instruments and incentives to build a green economy using private investment alongside direct government support and financial reform measures to require greater transparency and facilitate responsible ownership.

Longer term, the groups called for compulsory disclosure of ESG factors as part of disclosure obligations for issuers, greater corporate transparency on ESG issues, improved shareholder rights and promotion of inclusion of ESG factors into credit ratings, sell-side investment research and financial advice, including mandatory requirements to include social, environmental and ethical concerns as part of “know your client” provisions in financial product advice and sales.

In the end, the G20 didn’t include any ESG recommendations in its final statement, but there were a few encouraging signs. World leaders signed off on a crackdown on hedge funds and tax havens and agreed that new accounting measures were necessary to strengthen global financial market supervision.

And the sheer scale of the proposed reforms suggests that last week’s meeting was just the first step on what could be a very long journey. There’s already talk of another G20 meeting later this year in New York, giving world leaders another chance to add green policies to the myriad of fiscal stimulus packages in the works.

"The Social Investment Forums are not disappointed by the results [of the G20 meeting],” says SIO executive director Eugene Ellmen. “We went into this with a long-range view that this is the start of a dialogue with the G20 countries, not the end. The important thing is that -- for the first time -- the social investment forums are speaking with a single voice on the economic stimulus package and financial re-regulation.”

Ellmen says social investment groups will continue meeting with policymakers and regulators in their respective countries. “EuroSIF has started a process with the EU and the U.S. SIF is in discussions with the new Obama administration,” he notes. “In Canada , we'll be making recommendations concerning new corporate governance, and we'll continue to press the securities commissions for an ESG disclosure framework. We also want to re-start our proposal to the financial advisor regulators to create a mandatory framework for advisors to talk to their clients about social and environmental issues.”

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sustainable investment growing in emerging markets

Sustainable investment in emerging markets has grown significantly over the past few years, to more than $300 billion US in 2008, according to a study conducted by Mercer and commissioned by the International Finance Corporation, the private arm of the World Bank Group. That figure represents nearly 10% of total investment in emerging markets.

Funds labeled specifically as socially responsible or sustainable represented about $50 billion in assets, but this represents only a tiny fraction (1.5%) of total emerging market investments compared to 2.73% in developed markets. The remainder was comprised of mainstream institutional funds committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues within their core investment processes.

“The recent financial crisis reveals the critical value of global economic sustainability and underscores the importance of transparency and accountability in all markets,” the study says. “While asset managers in developed markets are often credited with being a step ahead in factoring ESG issues into investment decisions, this latest research reveals that emerging market asset managers are beginning to take ESG issues seriously.”

The project included a survey of 514 equity managers from around the globe, of which 177 managers were invested in emerging markets. Of those who invest in emerging markets, almost half (46%) had a policy regarding the integration of ESG issues in their investment processes.

"The research found pockets of innovation, with many local fund managers in emerging markets having deeper knowledge and understanding of social issues than their global counterparts,” said Danyelle Guyatt, head of research at Mercer’s Responsible Investment unit. “However, there is also potential for improvement in practices, particularly in the utilization of active ownership tools such as voting and engagement.”

Interestingly, a very small proportion of emerging market products are branded SRI (7%). But this underestimates the true number of SRI funds available to investors, the study notes, as there are a significant number of funds available which are not branded as SRI, but which do follow socially responsible practices, such as Shariah-compliant funds.

Despite evidence of growth, there’s no clear evidence the ESG trend will continue at this pace in emerging markets. Looking forward, less than a quarter of managers with emerging market equity strategies are expecting to make changes to improve their ability to integrate ESG issues into the investment process. A large number do not intend to, or remain undecided. “So the jury is still out as to how fast practices will improve,” the study concludes.

A pdf version of the full report is available here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Corporate Responsibility Reporting Awards

By Lisa Hayles, London Correspondent a global directory of Corporate Social Responsibility resources announced the winners of their CR Reporting Awards 08 last Friday night at a gala event in London.

As with last year’s awards (the very first Global Awards for CR reporting) users of the site voted to identify the best corporate responsibility reports of 2008. 123 companies entered the competition (which included reports published between September 2007 and September 2008).

The awards are organized into nine categories: A ‘Best Report’ overall winner, four categories relating to the nature of the report or company (e.g. Best First Time Report, Best Integrated Report) and four categories relating to specific transparency aspects (e.g. Carbon Disclosure, Relevance & Materiality).

Every report entered into the CR Reporting Awards was automatically entered into the Best Report category, to identify the best overall report. What makes a good report? asked their users to consider 5 essential elements: Content, Communication, Credibility, Commitment & Comparability. The Best Report category received 55 entrants with Vodafone Group as the overall winner (Coca-Cola Enterprises as 1st runner up Dell Inc. second runner up).

The Winners
Best Report – Vodafone Group
Best First Time Report – Virgin Media
Best SME Report – Ecological Designs
Best Integrated Report - Novo Nordisk A/S
Best Carbon Disclosure – Royal Dutch Shell
Creativity in Communications – Coca-Cola Enterprises
Relevance & Materiality – Vodafone Group
Openness & Honesty – The Cooperative Group
Credibility through Assurance – Vodafone Group

There is a definite bias in the results towards large cap European firms – not surprising given the prevalence of reporting here. No Canadian companies placed in the top 3 of any of the categories though Canada Post squeaked in as the 9th ranked ‘first reporter’ company this year. The authors argue in their foreword that ‘with corporate budgets increasingly under pressure, it’s likely that many stand-alone CR reports will become integrated with Annual Reports & Accounts, and it can be argued this cost-saving measure may in fact produce better reports. We’re also likely to see more on-line reporting and fewer printed reports and shorter reports overall.’

Corporate Register has produced a free report covering the award results, voting patterns and general reporting trends which is available here - (you may need to register for the site).