GRI – Integrated Reporting
The sustainability content of integrated reports -
a survey of pioneers
GRI asked us to prepare a report on the high-level characteristics of current selfdeclared integrated reports. To do this, we reviewed research conducted by GRI based on data drawn from GRI’s Sustainability Disclosure Database, on those organisations that self-declare their reports as ‘integrated’. In parallel, GRI asked us to provide ideas on a survey of pioneers in the field of integrated reporting to understand their motives, the value gained and lessons learned.
The research showed that the number of self-declared GRI integrated reports is growing and tends to take one of three forms: (i) an ordinary sustainability report that is self-declared integrated; (ii) a financial report published alongside a separate sustainability report, with one cover, and (iii) a report where financial and nonfinancial / sustainability information is embedded within a single volume.
The research also found that the financial services sector leads the field in the number of integrated reports being published globally, followed by mining, energy and energy utilities. Countries where the governments or stock exchanges have mandated integrated reporting have unsurprisingly inspired the greatest amount of activity, with South Africa clearly setting the lead.
The survey of pioneers showed that many leaders in integrated reporting see sustainability as core to their business and, as such, regard integrated reporting as the most intuitive and efficient presentation of their activities. Others describe integrated reporting as helping to deliver joined-up thinking and bust silos. All regard commitment and leadership from the top as critical to success.