The evolution of corporate reporting

“I don’t see integrated reporting as the evolution of sustainability reporting – it’s the evolution of corporate reporting.”

So said Paul Druckman, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council, at Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Convention 2012 this morning – Tim West, our director, reports

Now I admit that words like ‘integrated reporting’ are a communications disaster in themselves: jargon that is far too dry and hardly engaging.

Yet the concept behind ‘integrated reporting’ could hardly be more important as we consider current economic challenges, the role of business within society and how this is communicated.

Essentially, integrated reporting is a new approach to corporate reporting that aims to show the links between an organisation’s strategy and finances and the social, environmental and economic context in which it operates.

Simple. And yet, we know that very few organisations – whether corporates, charities or even social enterprises – are yet very good at doing it.

Druckman sees this new approach as “not as the evolution of sustainability reporting – it’s the evolution of corporate reporting”. This is an important distinction. It means that demonstrating and communicating social, environmental and economic value must be viewed as core to the whole business – not just an add on.

This is but one snapshot from a two-day event that has brought together a remarkable collection of responsibly minded chief executives, chief finance officers (so not just CSR people) from across the world and across sectors.

For the team at Matter&Co, which took a stand in the exhibition hall in north London’s Business Design Centre, and who have been collecting video interviews around the convention for our online platform, it felt like we were playing on home territory.

Our fantastic job, of course, is to do the bit that the accountants and business managers are not so good at – to irrigate the dry language and bring to life the stories that matter and help create engaging conversations around the idea of business that creates real value.

Our stories and videos from Responsible Business 2012 will be available at