ACCA announces winners of UK sustainability reporting awards

Source: ACCA, 28 February 2006

ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) today revealed the five organisations that have received awards or have been commended for their reports on the environmental, social and wider economic impacts of their activities at the UK Awards for Sustainability Reporting 2005.

Judges announced the following awards and commendations for 2005:

Joint winners, Best sustainability report – Anglo American Plc and BT Group Plc

Best social report – Traidcraft Plc

Best environmental report – Unilever Plc

Commendation for Innovation in Social Reporting – Guardian Newspapers Limited

The panel of judges, who are selected for their diverse stakeholder representation, highlighted the need for more companies to define the issue that they are reporting on. It was stated that some reporters declared that they were a “sustainable business” without fully considering the impact that this would have on their operations and what is involved in being sustainable. Moreover, the judges pointed out that some organisations may not be capable of total sustainable transformation and that this should be acknowledged in the report.

The judges also remarked that those recommendations that they had made last year were still missing in some reports. Inclusion of elementary components in all reports (such as identifying the target audience for the report and providing an overview of the business) and increased quality of external assurance reporting are both still lacking. Furthermore, greater identification and explanation of the link between CSR activities to the day-to-day organisational, operational, financial and strategic decision-making was desired.

Rachel Jackson, Head of Social & Environmental Issues at ACCA, said:

“This year’s winners have shown a clearer understanding of the essential requirements of sustainability reporting and this is to be commended. However, the judges’ suggestions provide a foundation for an even higher level of reporting that encompasses all areas of business management and strategy. The growing recognition of sustainable development as a serious commercial consideration bodes well for the quality of future entries.”

Download the judge report (pdf)