The 6th Annual CR Reporting & Communications Summit (by Ethical Corporation)

October 4, 2012 in Assurance, Our View, Press Releaseas, Reporting

Senior experts from leading companies will gather in London on 20-21 November to share best practice on how to create an innovative reporting and communications strategy that does not rely simply on a CR report, at the 6th Annual CR Reporting & Communications Summit. The overall debate of the summit, organized by London’s Ethical Corporation, will start from the evident fact that there’s a clear link between reporting transparency and corporate performance, which has in the background the fact that reporting forces companies to act sustainable, thus linking them to their stakeholders and consequently raising corporate performances.

Though the number of CR reports published annually doubled since 2006 (6.000 reports in 2011, out of which 1.200 for the first time), this evolution is still representing only a minority of corporate sustainable conduct. And this with all the signs and growing pressure for companies to think and act sustainably, which, on top of all that, makes companies more competitive and profitable. The 2011 Sustainability & Innovation Global Executive Study and Research Project, published by MIT and the Boston Consulting Group, found that, 67% of 4,000 managers believe a sustainability strategy is a competitive necessity, while an additional 22% believe it will be in the future. Richard Ellis, group head of CSR at Alliance Boots plc, says the rationale for sustainability reporting is clear: “Businesses will increasingly realize the value of sustainability information for the bottom line.”

That is why companies now recognize that whilst annual CR reporting is crucial, the CR report is just one method of engagement. The rules of CR engagement depend on the stakeholder. Consumers for example are unlikely to have heard of let alone read a CSR report. So, for corporate performance, beyond simply making a CR report, is crucial to communicate it to the stakeholders, and that not only once a year, but every time something related to the sustainable conduct happens.

In light of all these demands, it is no surprise that “chief financial officers are coming to the table” on sustainability, as a report, published in September 2012 by Deloitte, found. Only 13% of CFOs saw no connection between sustainability and financial performance, and accountability for sustainability is increasingly being transferred to CFOs and chief operating officers, who are now given direct responsibility for sustainability in 36% of corporations, up from 20% in 2011, according to the report. The trends are clear: companies will have to report more and report better. If they cannot grasp the business case and secure early-mover advantage by voluntarily assembling and disclosing their sustainability performance, they might find themselves forced to do so, like it recently happened in France, which has introduced wide-ranging social and environmental reporting requirements.

For this year event, Ethical Corporation have been working hard to put together a collaborative, practical and productive program designed to go beyond annual sustainability report best practice and evolve your CSR communications to enhance brand reputation and stakeholder engagement. This year’s summit will have an expert line-up of speakers from the likes of BAA, Marks and Spencer, BMW Group, Deutsche Telekom, Pirelli, GRI, IIRC, Takeda Italia, International Post Corporation, Caesars Entertainment, Bloomberg and more. Over two jam-packed days the speakers will highlight and showcase the opportunities within CR reporting, not just via the report, but also through the full spectrum of tools that can be used to engage stakeholders on sustainability.

Topics to be covered include: how to use social media to engage consumers on CR and how to de-escalate a social media storm, how to incorporate supplier performance into your CR report, future developments for CR reporting such as G4 and integrated reporting, how to engage critics transparently and use of ethical and sustainable messages to enhance stakeholder reputation.

The summit is ideal for those who are working in reporting and communications either in the CSR team or as part of a communications department looking to leverage CSR. Those interested can make a simple idea about the summit by reading the event brochure, and if they are further interested can register as participants, with a wide range of benefits, from simple attendant to annual member of the Ethical Corporation network.

Well over 650 attendees have attended this conference in the last 3 years, thus being a conference proven to meet the needs of reporting and communication departments alongside sustainability professionals, many of whom can be met in here. At least 60% of the attendees last year were from large international corporations, including participants from Romania, the rest coming from NGOs, governments, academia and service providers.

 

About Ethical Corporation

Founded and chaired by Toby Webb, a world class sustainable consultant, Ethical Corporation provides since 2001 business intelligence for sustainability to more than 3,000 multinational companies every year, as well as to NGOs, think-tanks, academia, governments and service providers to the corporate sustainability industry. A UK business, part of FC Business Intelligence Ltd, an independently owned company based in London, Ethical Corporation is 100% focused on global ethical business and how large companies are responding to the sustainable business agenda. The company provides objective analysis in its reports, news, events and updates for the corporate sustainability. Ethical Corporation publishes the leading responsible business magazine (Business Ethics. The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility) and hosts one CR management blog. Its flagship conference is called the Responsible Business Summit, which took place annually for the last 11 years.