INSIGHTS: IS REPORTING REALLY WORTH IT?
This year's Corporate & Financial Awards takes place on 24 September. Mondi is shortlisted for the awards
My bold assumption is that at some point in every reporting cycle we all hit a day when we ask ourselves this question. And rightly so given the amount of energy, time and thought our businesses dedicate to corporate reporting.
I head up the reporting team at Mondi, a global packaging and paper group. For me the value of reporting is very simply being able to communicate what we do and why we think it’s important in a way that is transparent, and enables people to truly understand our business. I see it as an opportunity to invite people in with the hope that they then want to explore the layers beneath. This means authentic messaging that gives a balanced overview of performance, and insight into how people, strategy and governance come together to create value for the future. Purposeful design and clear signposting are just as important to help the reader find what they are looking for.
Corporate reporting also gives us the platform to explain how we as Mondi are responding to challenges on important economic, political, societal and sustainable development issues including climate crisis, plastic waste, sustainable forests, diverse & inclusive teams, and responsible procurement. Conversations on these issues are taking place around the business all the time and our reports have become the ‘go to’ reference point for our colleagues to understand our position. By having an accessible report and ongoing communication it empowers our colleagues to talk to their stakeholders with the right level of information and knowledge.
I could add a number of other reasons why I think reporting is important, and I have no doubt that you have your own too. So the next question is how do we make reporting as relevant and accessible as we can? Mondi has been producing an integrated report and a standalone sustainability report for over a decade. We find there is a clear benefit to this approach as we are able to go into greater depth in each, based on different stakeholder needs, while still communicating our main themes across both reports. Our integrated report is primarily aimed at shareholders. Our sustainability report provides ESG analysts and other specialist audiences with more detail on our strategic approach of growing responsibly. This year, our new interactive online format allowed us to integrate more layers of information and case studies as additional pop-up content, meeting the needs of a broader sustainable development audience. Promoting report content internally and on external channels such as web and social media helps to extend the value of reporting beyond publication date.
As a team we are continually learning as we follow developments and spend time understanding what our different stakeholders really need from us, and we are genuinely proud of Mondi’s reporting. Going forward we will keep benchmarking against other reports we admire, follow regulatory guidance closely and take stakeholder views into consideration. Most importantly, we will keep asking ourselves if our reporting is an inclusive and transparent reflection of the business, and one that our stakeholders can identify with and trust.
Kerry Cooper is the senior communications manager of external communication, group communication and marketing at Mondi