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One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy

ISBN: 978-0-470-58751-5
256 pages
March 2010
One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy (0470587512) cover image
Winner of the 2010 PROSE Award for Best Business, Finance, & Management Book!

"One Report" refers to an emerging trend in business taking place throughout the world where companies are going beyond separate reports for financial and nonfinancial (e.g., corporate social responsibility or sustainability) results and integrating both into a single integrated report. At the same time, they are also leveraging the Internet to provide more detailed results to all of their stakeholders and for improving their level of dialogue and engagement with them. Providing best practice examples from companies around the world, One Report shows how integrated reporting adds tremendous value to the company and all of its stakeholders, including shareholders, and also ultimately contributes to a sustainable society.

  • Focuses on the emerging trend of integrated reporting as a top priority for companies, investors, regulators, auditors and civil society
  • Provides compelling case studies from some of the world's leading companies doing integrated reporting
  • Addresses how companies can move toward One Report and how it can become a keystone of a sustainable strategy for both the company and society
  • Explains what others-such as analysts, shareholders, other stakeholders, auditors, regulators, legislators, and civil society-need to do to enable the rapid and broad adoption of One Report

Filled with case studies and the most current trends on integrated reporting, this book is an invaluable guidebook on the future of reporting and how this future can lead to a sustainable society.

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Foreword.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Notes. 

Chapter 1 What Is One Report?

The Meaning of One Report.

Novo Nordisk: An Early Adopter of One Report.

Rhetoric and Design in Natura's 2008 Annual Report.

The Urgent Need for One Report.

Notes.

Chapter 2 United Technologies Corporation's First Integrated Report.

UTC's First One Report.

A Brief History of Corporate Reporting at UTC.

More on the 2008 Report.

UTC's Half-Century of Corporate Reporting.

Notes.

Chapter 3 The State of Financial Reporting Today.

Background on Financial Reporting.

Complexity.

Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

Auditing.

Notes.

Chapter 4 The State of Nonfinancial Reporting Today.

A Typology of Nonfinancial Information.

Intangible Assets.

Intangible Assets at Infosys.

Key Performance Indicators.

Environmental, Social and Governance Metrics.

Assurance on Nonfinancial Information.

Notes.

Chapter 5 Sustainable Strategies for a Sustainable Society.

Sustainability at Ricoh.

Corporate Social Responsibility.

Sustainability.

Sustainable Competitive Advantage.

Sustainable Strategies Require Integrated Reporting.

Corporate Reporting at Ricoh.

Notes.

Chapter 6 It's Time for One Report.

The Case for One Report.

One Report for a Sustainable Strategy for a Sustainable Society.

The Time Is Now.

Objections to One Report.

The Bottom Line.

Notes.

Chapter 7 The Internet and Integrated Reporting.

A Web-based Perspective on One Report.

The Essential Elements of Web-based Integrated Reporting.

Web 3.0 and Integrated Reporting.

Notes.

Chapter 8 Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Society.

Companies Must Take Responsibility.

Innovation.

Support from the Investment Community.

Development of Standards.

Legislation and Regulation.

Support from Civil Society.

Notes.

Appendix A: Companies and Organizations with URLs.

Appendix B: Acronyms.

Index.

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Robert G. Eccles joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in 1979 and received tenure in 1989, leaving in 1993 to work in the private sector. He rejoined the faculty in September of 2007. He has co-written two previous books on improving corporate reporting: The ValueReporting Revolution: Moving Beyond the Earnings Game and Building Public Trust: The Future of Corporate Reporting.

Michael P. Krzus is a partner with Grant Thornton LLP in its Public Policy and External Affairs Group. He is Grant Thornton's global expert on improving corporate reporting and has represented his firm in U.S. and international business reporting initiatives. He is a member of the AICPA Assurance Services Executive Committee.

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"If you are an investor, shareholder or financial analyst, with an interest in sustainability, you will probably enjoy the recent publication, One Report. In this book, the authors offer a strong endorsement of integrated reporting, claiming a "compelling case" for this to be adopted "all over the world, by public and private companies alike." (csrwire.com, April 13, 2010)

"One Report is about creating a better corporate reporting system that integrates the reporting of financial, environmental, social, and governance performance, with a particular focus on the ability of a company to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner. The book incorporates several excellent real-world examples of the One Report concept. The book is well-researched and the quality of the writing is excellent." (accountingtools.com, April 2010)

"This is the first book I have seen on integrated reporting. One of the most telling points made in the book is the need for companies to integrate sustainable strategies into their businesses. The authors go on to say that integrated reporting forces companies to do this because of the governance requirements facing organizations today. I also like the sections dealing with how companies should be making use of social media such as Facebook to communicate and engage with stakeholders. The book is well worth reading. It is short and gives a good overview of the topic." (sustainabilitysa.org, April 2010)

"In an interview with IR Magazine, Krzus makes it clear that he and Eccles aren't touting a new product or service. For their book, they identified and cataloged best practice by studying companies such as the Netherlands' Philips, Denmark's Novo Nordisk, Brazil's Natura, and US-based United Technologies Corporation." (thecrossbordergroup.com, March 9, 2010)

"Integrated reporting is the subject of Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer Robert Eccles' new book, One Report. According to Professor Eccles, there are only a handful of companies in the world that practice integrated reporting. The idea behind integrated reporting is much more than a static paper document or PDF. It's a web-based approach that makes strategic use of Web 2.0 tools and technologies to enable users to do their own analyses. Integrated reporting offers several benefits...such as deepened engagement with stakeholders, improved corporate governance and communication of performance with "ONE" conversation. Just imagine, one conversation to share your reputation." (reputationxchange.com, March 8, 2010)

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March 08, 2010
One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy

In the post-financial collapse business world, companies are being held to a higher standard of transparency than ever before — not only about financial performance, but also about nonfinancial performance regarding environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. In short, for both internal and external stakeholders, transparency and corporate responsibility are the orders of the day, say Robert G. Eccles of Harvard Business School and Michael P. Krzus of Grant Thornton LLP, coauthors of the new book One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy (Wiley, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-58751-5, $39.95) Thanks to their integrated reporting approach, it is now much easier for companies to demonstrate their progress in these areas.         

“Many companies today supplement their annual report with a voluntary ‘Corporate Responsibility’ or ‘Sustainability’ report,” says Eccles. “To have a real impact, these separate documents need to be integrated, demonstrating that the company has a sustainable strategy based on a real commitment to corporate social responsibility and that it takes into account the needs of all stakeholders.”            

“An excessive focus on short-term financial performance must be replaced by a longer-term view that a sustainable company depends upon its contribution to a sustainable society,” adds Krzus. “One essential mechanism for achieving that is a commitment to more integrated external reporting.”           

One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy is a guide to achieving that goal, providing insights on the “how” of integrated reporting (known as One Report) and making the case for its adoption worldwide. Integrated reporting communicates to shareholders and other stakeholders that the company takes a holistic view of their interests — a concept demonstrated even more clearly by the company’s willingness to be a “listener,” not just a “talker,” through Internet dialogue it establishes with stakeholders. Finally, integrated reporting commits a company to a path of continuous improvement in external reporting. 

Companies can reap real benefits from One Report:

  • Greater clarity about relationships and commitments: A sustainable strategy with multi-stakeholder perspective demonstrates thoughtful, conscientious leadership.
  • Better decisions: Developing greater clarity about — and basing decisions upon — the relationships between financial and nonfinancial information, drive sustainability into the business strategy and create value for the company, its shareholders, and all other stakeholders.
  • Higher level of engagement with all stakeholders: Integrated reporting and engaging stakeholders through Internet communications challenges all participants to listen to and examine all perspectives.
  • Lower reputational risk: Assessing reputation and reality across stakeholder groups helps the company identify areas that are at risk.  

Reporting is the world’s window to a company — and companies that are currently practicing One Report (including the Dutch lighting and health care company Philips, the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, the Brazilian cosmetics and fragrances maker Natura, and U.S.-based United Technologies Corporation) are beginning to see positive results.  

About the Authors 

Robert G. Eccles joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in 1979 and received tenure in 1989, leaving in 1993 to work in the private sector. He rejoined the faculty in September 2007. In collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers, he has co-written two previous books on improving corporate reporting: The Value Reporting Revolution: Moving Beyond the Earnings Game and Building Public Trust: The Future of Corporate Reporting.  

Michael P. Krzus is a public policy and external affairs partner with Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations. Mr. Krzus is the firm’s global expert on improving corporate reporting and has represented Grant Thornton in U.S. and international business reporting initiatives.  

About the Book 

One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy (Wiley, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-470-58751-5, $39.95) is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797.

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., has been a valued source of information and understanding for 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley’s core business includes scientific, technical, and medical journals; encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley’s global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia.

The Company’s Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.  

About Grant Thornton LLP

The people in the independent firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd provide personalized attention and the highest quality service to public and private clients in more than 100 countries. Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity. In the U.S., visit Grant Thornton LLP at www.GrantThornton.com.

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