What is Integrated Reporting?
Integrated Reporting demonstrates the linkages between an organization’s strategy, governance and financial performance and the social, environmental and economic context within which it operates.
By reinforcing these connections, Integrated Reporting can help business to take more sustainable decisions and enable investors and other stakeholders to understand how an organization is really performing.
An Integrated Report should be a single report which is the organization’s primary report – in most jurisdictions the Annual Report or equivalent.
Central to Integrated Reporting is the challenge facing organizations to create and sustain value in the short, medium and longer term. Each element of an Integrated Report should provide insights into an organization’s current and future performance.
By addressing the material issues for an organization, an Integrated Report should demonstrate in a clear and concise manner an organization’s ability to create and sustain value in the short, medium and longer term.
IIRC – History and Current Activities
Establishment of the International Integrated Reporting Council
A4S developed a reporting framework in 2007 and a reporting “how to” guide in 2009, which explain how all areas of organizational performance can be presented in a connected, integrated way, reflecting the organization’s strategy and the way it is managed. For more information on A4S’s work to drive changes to corporate reporting click here.
Following the success of the work undertaken by A4S and others, at the A4S Forum event on 17th December 2009 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, on behalf of A4S, the GRI and IFAC, called for an ‘International Integrated Reporting Council’ (IIRC) to be established to oversee the development of an international connected and integrated approach to corporate reporting.
The IIRC was set up in 2010 comprising an international cross section of leaders from the corporate, investment, accounting, securities, regulatory, academic and standard-setting sectors as well as civil society. A4S acted as the Secretariat for the IIRC until January 2012.
How does A4S work with the IIRC?
From January 2012, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has been supported by an independent Secretariat, although A4S still works closely with the IIRC.
The mission of the IIRC is to create a globally accepted Integrated Reporting framework which brings together financial, environmental, social and governance information in a clear, concise, consistent and comparable format.
A4S works to promote the Integrated Thinking that is required if organizations are to achieve successful Integrated Reporting. Only once organizations are thinking in an integrated way, can this be demonstrated through Integrated Reporting.
International Integrated Reporting Framework
The IIRC published the International Integrated Reporting Framework in December 2013. The Framework will be used to accelerate the adoption of Integrated Reporting across the world, where it is currently being trialled in over 25 countries, 16 of which are members of the G20, the group of nations focused on strengthening the global economy.
The Integrated Reporting Pilot Programme
The Integrated Reporting Pilot Programme offers a select group of companies the opportunity to demonstrate global leadership in this emerging field of corporate reporting. The Pilot Programme has underpinned the development of the International Integrated Reporting Framework.
Through the Pilot Programme, the principles and practicalities of Integrated Reporting are tried and tested, to support the creation of a new global standard in Integrated Reporting. Over 100 companies from around the globe have been invited to join the Programme and companies from various sectors have secured their participation, including Microsoft Corporation (Software and Computer Services), HSBC (Banks) and Gold Fields (Mining).
Towards Integrated Reporting – Communicating Value in the 21st Century – Discussion Paper
In 2011 the IIRC published the Discussion Paper Towards Integrated Reporting – Communicating Value in the 21st Century which considers the rationale for Integrated Reporting, offering initial proposals for the development of the International Integrated Reporting Framework and outlining the next steps towards its creation and adoption.
Its purpose was to prompt input from all those with a stake in improved reporting, including producers and users of reports.