Net Balance is on the forefront of Integrated Reporting

by Jane Farago

On Friday 31 May, the Net Balance Foundation was privileged to host a thoughtful and thought-provoking panel discussion on Integrated Reporting: By Directors, For Directors.

Paul Druckman, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), began the session with an overview of Integrated Reporting. The move to Integrated Reporting comes from a belief that reporting influences behaviour, and that integrated reporting will lead to integrated thinking. The idea is to produce a concise communication of how a company creates value, focusing on issues material to value creation from across six ‘capitals’: financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and natural.

Damien Walsh, Managing Director of BankMecu, spoke about the bank’s experience of implementing this relatively uncharted approach as a member of the IIRC pilot program. It proved a challenging but positive experience. Pulling together data from across the organisation, the process uncovered a more complete picture of the bank’s operations.

Charles Macek, Non-executive Director of Wesfarmers, commented on the need for businesses to embed a broad concept of value creation in their thinking, at a time when many are driven by compliance and have ‘lost their moral compass’. Macek argued that if, as he does, you believe in the vital importance of reputation, then nothing relevant to the business is ‘non-financial’.

Michael Nugent, Technical Director of the IIRC, explained that Integrated Reporting is not intended to replace sustainability reporting. Indeed, quality reporting will depend on a pool of robust data from which to draw the elements most material to the business.

Organisations are invited to respond to the IIRC Consultation Draft by 15 July

Jane Farago is the General Manager of the Net Balance Foundation (jane@netbalance.com), 
providing services to organisations and companies unable to pay the usual cost of sustainability advisory services.
Jane is based in Melbourne.

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