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The impact of sustainability and
      integrated reporting
       on Public Relations
         Lessons Learnt
                Reana Rossouw
          Next Generation Consultants
From Annual Report to Sustainability
Report to an Integrated Report………..
“To make our economy sustainable we have to relearn
everything we have learnt from the past.

That means making more from less and ensuring that
governance, strategy and sustainability are inseparable.

Integrated Reporting builds on the practice of Financial
Reporting, and Environmental, Social and Governance-
or ESG/Sustainability – Reporting, and equips companies
to strategically manage their operations, brand and
reputation to stakeholders and be better prepared to
manage any risk that may compromise the long-term
sustainability of the business”

Professor Mervyn King, Chairman of the GRI
An integrated report ….


                      The core concepts revolve
                      around an “inclusive”
                      approach and “integrated”
                      reporting to provide a
                      holistic and forward looking
                      picture of the reporting
                      organisation to the
                      multitude of stakeholders
                      who are impacted by and
                      who in turn impact the
                      reporting organisation.
Key considerations:
• Integrated reporting….
     – Is the evolution of sustainability reporting from a
       “nice to have” to a “need to have” basis
     – Is communicating the business strategy and
       processes which exist or are to be implemented to
       manage both financial and sustainability issues
     – Is a journey and progressively needs to cover the
       multiple needs of the different user types
     – Requires the development of a framework to
       ensure all reporting requirements are being met.
Source: KPMG – Integrated Reporting – Understanding the requirements - 2011
Reporting Progress



                                   Sustainability Report




                                                                              Integrated Report
  Annual Report




                  • Financial                              • Lots of issues                       • Core elements
                    Results                                • Lots of                                that
                  • Compliance                               stakeholders                           contribute to
                    Statutory                              • Stakeholder                            core value
                    Information                              based                                  creation
                  • Shareholders                                                                  • Most material
                    based                                                                           to value
                                                                                                    creation for
                                                                                                    stakeholders
                                                                                                  • Stakeholder
                                                                                                    based


Source: Next Generation Consultants – www.nextgeneration.co.za
What this means….
• This change requires not only
  new skills and competencies
  but also a new mind shift
  about fundamentally different
  communication strategies
• This new era of Corporate
  Reporting focuses on enabling
  stakeholders to make
  informed assessments as
  opposed to companies telling
  their (one-sided) story
• It requires integrated strategic
  communication strategies that
  considers, allows and
  encourages stakeholders to
  influence business strategy
New era of
communications
 • Principles of Reporting
    –   Materiality
    –   Inclusiveness
    –   Completeness
    –   Balance
    –   Comparability
    –   Accuracy
    –   Timeliness
    –   Clarity
    –   Reliability
    –   Transparency
    –   Accountability
Here, There, Everywhere
• Issues management is a traditional role and
  responsibility of the public relations function
   – Issues management, broadly defined, is the practice of
     identifying potential problems and working to deflect or
     defuse them in order to minimize their impact on an
     organisation or business
• Sustainability deals with these material issues – in
  particular – how a company is or plans to deal with it.
• The sustainability and integrated report is the
  communication aspect – i.e. ‘telling the story’ to
  stakeholders.
• Until now PR focused on specific ‘stakeholder groups’
  i.e. investors, shareholders, media, etc.
• So – what is the NEW story about stakeholders?
Providing the link
 • Additional requirements
   of practitioners are – to
   take the lead in
   stakeholder
   engagement, to
   document the
   engagement process, (i.e.
   outcome and
   commitment to these
   issues raised by
   stakeholders), to
   contribute to the
   reporting process, and
   ensure the most material
   issues are managed – all
   of these provide an
   additional layer of
   complexity.
The era of stakeholder engagement
1980’s – The Awareness Era      1990’s – The Attentive Era           2000’s – The Engagement Era
Environmental                   Environmental and Social             Increasingly complex
                                                                     environmental, social, economic
                                                                     environment
Local                           Global                               Global
High Impact – High Visibility   Less visible industries              Multi stakeholder partnerships
Industries
Deteriorating public opinion,   Increasing awareness of threats      Growing issue linkages,
mistrust of business            to resources,                        complexity across the value
                                interconnectedness of                chain as well as product chain
                                environmental, social, economic      (cradle to grave)
                                issues
NGO, Activist pressure to       Calls for corporate responsibility   Growing anti-globalisation
reduce environmental impacts    on environment, social issues        movement
Negative media                  Rise of NGO influence powered        Increasing influence of global
                                by electronic communications         multi stakeholder organisations
Increasing community tensions                                        Recognition of value creation
                                                                     from engagement for a
                                                                     company and its stakeholders
Consumer boycotts
Difficulties, delays in
permissions
Threats to licence to operate
Stakeholder Groups by Relationship
         Business                   Government                    Civil Society

• Deepening and adding       • Moving beyond a             • Moving beyond
  value to traditional or      compliance framework          confrontation to
  long-standing                into a variety of             dialogue and cooperative
  relationships                participatory                 and partnership models
• Managers, employees          models, including new       • Local community
  and labour unions            forms of public-private       stakeholders
• Shareholders, investors,     partnerships and multi-     • NGO’s
  financiers, reinsurers       stakeholder policy
                                                           • Research institutions,
                               dialogue aimed at
• Customers, clients,                                        academics, media
                               securing a policy
  consumers                                                • Global community
                               framework that is
• Suppliers, contractors       supportive of responsible     stakeholders
• Industry and trade           competitiveness             • Vulnerable/voiceless/
  associations               • Industry based /              indigenous/future groups
• Competitors                  regulatory bodies –
                               mining, telecoms, finance
Increasing sophistication in
         approaches to engagement
Communications via one-way channels designed to
spread information
• TRUST US


Consultation and dialogue via interactive channels

• SHOW US

Partnerships that create value and are focused on
finding solutions
• INVOLVE US, HEAR US
Case Studies
•   Engagement and dialogue is more about listening
     – Shell – Fracking in the Karoo
•   Expect to take time to learn a new vocabulary – even if you are using the same
    words, they have a different meaning
     – BHBP – Environmental/Emissions/Pollution vs. Health Issues
•   Accept that there might not be agreement on all issues
     – BP – Don’t expect to set the agenda
•   Be aware of perceptions that may not align with internal thinking – some you
    may be able to change, whilst some you might have to learn to live with
     – Mines – people have short and/or long memories – relocation, wages, hostels, asbestos,
       water, nationalisation
•   You may need independent, external, specialist skills to facilitate the process
     – Walmart – local knowledge, skill and cultural insight
•   The rules of engagement need to be agreed
•   Comment and commitment needs to filter through the organisation
•   It takes time and resources and it raises expectations
•   Stakeholders are not homogenous groups
•   Getting the right stakeholders to the table is neither simple nor easy
•   It requires reviewing internal priorities, processes and systems
Lessons Learnt (1)

• Unlearn PR & Embrace the Specific

• Be afraid – be very afraid – if you see
  phrases like
   – “industry leading,” “best in class,” and
     “visionary”
   – “We’ve been the most responsible (insert
     industry) company since (insert name of
     scion) /(launched this great company in)
     [insert date]. And this year we’ve done
     some fantastic things to improve our
     performance. Not that we’re suggesting
     that in previous years our performance
     needed improving, because we were
     already great … ”.
Lessons Learnt (2)
• Learn to say ‘’Sorry – we
  made a mistake”

• Practice starting sentences
  with “Unfortunately, …” and
  “We didn’t reach our goal
  this year because … ”.
• Use language along the lines
  of “Despite these
  accomplishments, we know
  we have a long way to go.”
Lessons Learnt (3)
• Is it real or aspirational?

• When you talk about future performance,
  be it a specific goal or (dangerously) an
  implied goal, be very clear about what’s
  aspirational and what’s a hard goal for
  which you’re willing to be held
  accountable.

• It doesn’t hurt to qualify this by laying out
  the potential factors that might make the
  goal difficult to achieve. Sweeping
  predictions may bite you where it hurts.
Lessons Learnt (4)
• It matters – all of it!

   – You have an important job. More
     than any other document, your
     Sustainability / Integrated Report has
     the potential to earn at least the
     grudging respect of your critics.

   – At the end of the day, sustainable
     business practices and transparent
     communications represent
     opportunity more than risk.
Thank You

                         Questions

                            Please note:

This presentation is part of a larger body of research and knowledge.

                       For more information:

                     www.nextgeneration.co.za




                                                                        19

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Sustainability and Public Relations

  • 1. The impact of sustainability and integrated reporting on Public Relations Lessons Learnt Reana Rossouw Next Generation Consultants
  • 2. From Annual Report to Sustainability Report to an Integrated Report………..
  • 3. “To make our economy sustainable we have to relearn everything we have learnt from the past. That means making more from less and ensuring that governance, strategy and sustainability are inseparable. Integrated Reporting builds on the practice of Financial Reporting, and Environmental, Social and Governance- or ESG/Sustainability – Reporting, and equips companies to strategically manage their operations, brand and reputation to stakeholders and be better prepared to manage any risk that may compromise the long-term sustainability of the business” Professor Mervyn King, Chairman of the GRI
  • 4. An integrated report …. The core concepts revolve around an “inclusive” approach and “integrated” reporting to provide a holistic and forward looking picture of the reporting organisation to the multitude of stakeholders who are impacted by and who in turn impact the reporting organisation.
  • 5. Key considerations: • Integrated reporting…. – Is the evolution of sustainability reporting from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” basis – Is communicating the business strategy and processes which exist or are to be implemented to manage both financial and sustainability issues – Is a journey and progressively needs to cover the multiple needs of the different user types – Requires the development of a framework to ensure all reporting requirements are being met. Source: KPMG – Integrated Reporting – Understanding the requirements - 2011
  • 6. Reporting Progress Sustainability Report Integrated Report Annual Report • Financial • Lots of issues • Core elements Results • Lots of that • Compliance stakeholders contribute to Statutory • Stakeholder core value Information based creation • Shareholders • Most material based to value creation for stakeholders • Stakeholder based Source: Next Generation Consultants – www.nextgeneration.co.za
  • 7. What this means…. • This change requires not only new skills and competencies but also a new mind shift about fundamentally different communication strategies • This new era of Corporate Reporting focuses on enabling stakeholders to make informed assessments as opposed to companies telling their (one-sided) story • It requires integrated strategic communication strategies that considers, allows and encourages stakeholders to influence business strategy
  • 8. New era of communications • Principles of Reporting – Materiality – Inclusiveness – Completeness – Balance – Comparability – Accuracy – Timeliness – Clarity – Reliability – Transparency – Accountability
  • 9. Here, There, Everywhere • Issues management is a traditional role and responsibility of the public relations function – Issues management, broadly defined, is the practice of identifying potential problems and working to deflect or defuse them in order to minimize their impact on an organisation or business • Sustainability deals with these material issues – in particular – how a company is or plans to deal with it. • The sustainability and integrated report is the communication aspect – i.e. ‘telling the story’ to stakeholders. • Until now PR focused on specific ‘stakeholder groups’ i.e. investors, shareholders, media, etc. • So – what is the NEW story about stakeholders?
  • 10. Providing the link • Additional requirements of practitioners are – to take the lead in stakeholder engagement, to document the engagement process, (i.e. outcome and commitment to these issues raised by stakeholders), to contribute to the reporting process, and ensure the most material issues are managed – all of these provide an additional layer of complexity.
  • 11. The era of stakeholder engagement 1980’s – The Awareness Era 1990’s – The Attentive Era 2000’s – The Engagement Era Environmental Environmental and Social Increasingly complex environmental, social, economic environment Local Global Global High Impact – High Visibility Less visible industries Multi stakeholder partnerships Industries Deteriorating public opinion, Increasing awareness of threats Growing issue linkages, mistrust of business to resources, complexity across the value interconnectedness of chain as well as product chain environmental, social, economic (cradle to grave) issues NGO, Activist pressure to Calls for corporate responsibility Growing anti-globalisation reduce environmental impacts on environment, social issues movement Negative media Rise of NGO influence powered Increasing influence of global by electronic communications multi stakeholder organisations Increasing community tensions Recognition of value creation from engagement for a company and its stakeholders Consumer boycotts Difficulties, delays in permissions Threats to licence to operate
  • 12. Stakeholder Groups by Relationship Business Government Civil Society • Deepening and adding • Moving beyond a • Moving beyond value to traditional or compliance framework confrontation to long-standing into a variety of dialogue and cooperative relationships participatory and partnership models • Managers, employees models, including new • Local community and labour unions forms of public-private stakeholders • Shareholders, investors, partnerships and multi- • NGO’s financiers, reinsurers stakeholder policy • Research institutions, dialogue aimed at • Customers, clients, academics, media securing a policy consumers • Global community framework that is • Suppliers, contractors supportive of responsible stakeholders • Industry and trade competitiveness • Vulnerable/voiceless/ associations • Industry based / indigenous/future groups • Competitors regulatory bodies – mining, telecoms, finance
  • 13. Increasing sophistication in approaches to engagement Communications via one-way channels designed to spread information • TRUST US Consultation and dialogue via interactive channels • SHOW US Partnerships that create value and are focused on finding solutions • INVOLVE US, HEAR US
  • 14. Case Studies • Engagement and dialogue is more about listening – Shell – Fracking in the Karoo • Expect to take time to learn a new vocabulary – even if you are using the same words, they have a different meaning – BHBP – Environmental/Emissions/Pollution vs. Health Issues • Accept that there might not be agreement on all issues – BP – Don’t expect to set the agenda • Be aware of perceptions that may not align with internal thinking – some you may be able to change, whilst some you might have to learn to live with – Mines – people have short and/or long memories – relocation, wages, hostels, asbestos, water, nationalisation • You may need independent, external, specialist skills to facilitate the process – Walmart – local knowledge, skill and cultural insight • The rules of engagement need to be agreed • Comment and commitment needs to filter through the organisation • It takes time and resources and it raises expectations • Stakeholders are not homogenous groups • Getting the right stakeholders to the table is neither simple nor easy • It requires reviewing internal priorities, processes and systems
  • 15. Lessons Learnt (1) • Unlearn PR & Embrace the Specific • Be afraid – be very afraid – if you see phrases like – “industry leading,” “best in class,” and “visionary” – “We’ve been the most responsible (insert industry) company since (insert name of scion) /(launched this great company in) [insert date]. And this year we’ve done some fantastic things to improve our performance. Not that we’re suggesting that in previous years our performance needed improving, because we were already great … ”.
  • 16. Lessons Learnt (2) • Learn to say ‘’Sorry – we made a mistake” • Practice starting sentences with “Unfortunately, …” and “We didn’t reach our goal this year because … ”. • Use language along the lines of “Despite these accomplishments, we know we have a long way to go.”
  • 17. Lessons Learnt (3) • Is it real or aspirational? • When you talk about future performance, be it a specific goal or (dangerously) an implied goal, be very clear about what’s aspirational and what’s a hard goal for which you’re willing to be held accountable. • It doesn’t hurt to qualify this by laying out the potential factors that might make the goal difficult to achieve. Sweeping predictions may bite you where it hurts.
  • 18. Lessons Learnt (4) • It matters – all of it! – You have an important job. More than any other document, your Sustainability / Integrated Report has the potential to earn at least the grudging respect of your critics. – At the end of the day, sustainable business practices and transparent communications represent opportunity more than risk.
  • 19. Thank You Questions Please note: This presentation is part of a larger body of research and knowledge. For more information: www.nextgeneration.co.za 19