New Book Advocates Integrating Financial and Nonfinancial Information to Improve Corporate Reporting and Promote a Sustainable Society
NEW YORK, March 08, 2010 – Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global accounting organizations, today announced the release of a new book titled One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy, co-authored by global corporate reporting experts, Grant Thornton LLP partner Michael P. Krzus and Harvard Business School faculty member Robert G. Eccles.
The book provides expert insights, case studies and proven best practices that show how integrating financial and nonfinancial information, such as environmental, social and governance performance (ESG), into a single report can drive sustainability into a company’s strategy and create value for the company, its shareholders and all other stakeholders.
Integrated reporting - known as “One Report” - offers a comprehensive solution to issues posed by the post-financial collapse business world, where institutional investors and public pension funds are demanding disclosure of ESG information that can affect a company’s business operations, and internal and external stakeholders want more transparency about companies’ financial and nonfinancial performance.
In the book, coauthors Krzus and Eccles underscore that, for annual reports and voluntary ‘Corporate Responsibility’ or ‘Sustainability’ reports to have the desired impact and value, they must be integrated into a single report. By producing an integrated report, companies demonstrate a sustainable strategy that is based on a genuine commitment to corporate social responsibility - one that takes into account the needs of all stakeholders.
The benefits to companies adopting One Report are real and measurable.
“Now, more than ever, an excessive focus on short-term financial performance must be replaced by a longer-term view recognizing that a sustainable company depends upon its contribution to a sustainable society,” says Krzus. “One essential mechanism for achieving that goal is a commitment to more integrated external reporting. One Report challenges management to be much more detailed about how it is ‘doing well’ for shareholders by ‘doing good’ for stakeholders. Our goal in writing this book was to provide companies with the insights and tools necessary to implement the concept of One Report and make the case for its adoption around the world.”
“One Report is the result of more integrated reporting, which can only happen if sustainability is embedded in a company’s strategy,” says Eccles. “It is the most effective way of demonstrating internal integration, and it is also a discipline for ensuring that integration exists. Integrated external reporting is impossible without integrated internal management. One Report is both a tool and a symbol of a company’s commitment to sustainability.”
“Grant Thornton’s commitment to the concept of One Report is rooted in our shared responsibility to make a difference and move toward a sustainable society,” said Stephen Chipman, CEO of Grant Thornton LLP. “By authoring seminal works like One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy — the first of its kind on the topic — and collaborating with like-minded experts such as Bob Eccles of the Harvard Business School, we have the ability to be stewards of the profession and encourage the adoption of a more holistic, integrated reporting framework. One Report is a concept we fully support, and member firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd are continuously engaging professional and public policy bodies to assist in further defining sustainability measures both here in the United States and elsewhere around the world.”
Companies that are currently practicing One Report include 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.
About the Authors
Robert G. Eccles is a faculty member of the Harvard Business School. He has co-authored 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. He 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
Further details can be found on http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6541.html