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).

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