- web app
- related content
- low carbon
- annual report
16 July 2012
Our work: Centrica breaks the mould in CR communications...again
Senior Consultant | Read all Andrew's posts
Centrica's CR reporting has been received well in recent years, being ranked among the top reports in the UK and Europe in various rankings and research. As we blogged last year, stakeholders look to Centrica’s online-led reporting for innovation.
For Centrica, their 2011 reporting objectives were still about innovation, as well as increased engagement. But they also wanted to reduce the size of the report - due to stakeholder feedback and also because, like in many companies, budgets and resources are under pressure.
The Centrica CR section landing page
So we worked with the team at Centrica to come up with an approach for their reporting which would fulfil these potentially contradictory goals. For both Centrica and ourselves, a key way of doing this was to shift the focus from report-led CR communication - basing interaction with stakeholders around the event of a report publication - to ongoing dialogue, while still retaining a reporting snapshot. We think that this kind of shift, in which the ongoing corporate narrative becomes more important, is an interesting and important one not just for CR reporting, but also financial reporting. But that's a debate for another day (or blog)...
You can see for yourself if we've been able to help Centrica achieve their objectives at www.centrica.com/responsibility, but broadly speaking there were four main ways we tried to do it:
1. Splitting Reporting from the Responsibility web site content. This was the first stage of the project, launched in February 2012, allowing the CR team time to focus on content in the run up to the publication of the report in early May. The updated CR section features information about Centrica’s CR strategy and governance, along with pages outlining the key issues that the business faces, Centrica’s business principles, as well as a Resources section with downloads, videos, case studies and contact details.
2. Publishing a 2011 CR Performance Review. The Performance Review is a PDF document – the company’s annual update on its most material issues. The Review focuses on ‘building trust’ through a set of four key themes: treating customers fairly, low carbon, energy supply, and people and safety.
3. Continuing to report data annually in the data centre. Instead of embedding performance charting within the content of the report, the data centre is a standalone tool which lets users interrogate all of Centrica’s CR data in one place. There are clear links to specific data from the content on the issues pages in the Responsibility section on the site. The interactive carbon map was also updated to reflect 2011’s data.
4. Using CR updates on the website to deliver year-round communications. The updates, which are focused on projects and initiatives, appear in panels at the bottom of the relevant issue-focused pages, such as People. These updates will give stakeholders more frequent, and more recent information about what Centrica are doing throughout the year.
To tie all of these elements together, a new page, the ‘Reporting Hub’, has been created in the Responsibility section. Launched alongside the CR Performance Review, the Reporting hub displays the latest updates as well as pointing users to where they can find the information they need.
The new approach caters for users looking for different types of content and levels of detail, giving them the choice about how they want to look at content. The regular updates also give users more reasons to come back throughout the year to find out the latest developments. We think that Centrica's CR reporting proves that less definitely can be more.
Any statements made in these blog posts are the views of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of The Group.