International integrated reporting framework released with business and investor support

Singapore, 9 December 2013 – The release today of the International Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework marks an important milestone in the market-led evolution of corporate reporting. It follows a three-month global consultation led by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) earlier this year, which elicited over 350 responses from every region in the world, the overwhelming majority of which expressed support for <IR>.

<IR> applies principles and concepts that are focused on bringing greater cohesion and efficiency to the reporting process, and adopting “integrated thinking” as a way of breaking down internal silos and reducing duplication. It improves the quality of information available to providers of financial capital to enable a more efficient and productive allocation of capital. Its focus on value creation, and the ‘capitals’ used by the business to create value over time, contributes towards a more financially stable global economy and is a force for sustainability.

The Framework will be used to accelerate the adoption of <IR> 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.

Commenting on the release of the Framework, IIRC Chairman Professor Mervyn King SC, said, “We have been taken aback by the degree to which mainstream businesses and investors have been willing to participate in creating this Framework and embarking on their own <IR> journey. Last month PepsiCo became the latest global company to sign up to the IIRC’s 100-plus strong business network, which includes HSBC, Unilever, Deutsche Bank, China Light & Power, Hyundai Engineering and Construction, National Australia Bank and Tata Steel.

“I am delighted that the day has come when businesses worldwide can use the Framework as a tool for the better articulation of their strategy, and to engage investors on a more long-term journey to attract investment that will be crucial to achieving sustained, and sustainable, prosperity”.

IIRC Chief Executive Officer, Paul Druckman, said, “The Framework brings technical rigour and cohesion to a process that has grown organically and through market pressure over the last three years. Today we have fired the starting gun on a period of global adoption that will begin in early 2014 by showcasing practical examples of reporting innovation, including how businesses are demonstrating value creation using the ‘capitals’ model and principles such as the connectivity of information.

“We could not have reached this milestone without the dedicated support of our innovators, our Pilot Programme participants who have contributed so much to the development of the Framework. Together they have ensured that <IR> is relevant to the mainstream business and investor communities, and can be incorporated as part of existing reporting requirements.

“We will use the Framework, together with examples and evidence of the business and investor case, to reach out to a wider pool of businesses who are seeking to adopt <IR> for the first time. It is the right time to participate in the journey towards a better, more cohesive reporting landscape that makes sense both to businesses and to the decisions of providers of financial capital, in this interconnected, complex and resource-constrained world”.

Said Chen Voon Hoe, Accounting Advisory Leader, PwC Singapore, “The Framework brings us a step closer to more integrated and cohesive corporate reporting. As business becomes increasingly complex, the challenge is to communicate more relevant information instead of increasing the volume of information to build trust and drive sustainable growth. The Framework is a tool for companies to better articulate their strategy, the risk and opportunities and value creation process for various stakeholders of the company.

“<IR> has received support and commitment from many of the world's largest businesses and institutions. In Singapore, the SAC has expressed support for <IR> and in the process of building a SEA hub. Some companies in Singapore are in various stages of incorporating the principles in the <IR> Framework into their corporate reporting.”

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Notes

  1. Integrated Reporting <IR> is a process founded on integrated thinking that results in a periodic integrated report by an organization about value creation over time and related communications regarding aspects of value creation.
  2. The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is a global coalition of regulators, investors, companies, standard setters, the accounting profession and NGOs. Together, this coalition shares the view that communication about businesses’ value creation should be the next step in the evolution of corporate reporting.
  3. One of the fundamental concepts of Integrated Reporting is the capitals. The Framework identifies six capitals - financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural. The purpose of the capitals is to encourage a business to think more broadly and to consider all potential sources of value in the course of explaining how it is creating value over the short, medium and long term.
  4. The International <IR> Framework can be found here.

 

Preface from the Framework

The IIRC’s long-term vision is a world in which integrated thinking is embedded within mainstream business practice in the public and private sectors, facilitated by Integrated Reporting (<IR>) as the corporate reporting norm. The cycle of integrated thinking and reporting, resulting in efficient and productive capital allocation, will act as a force for financial stability and sustainability.

<IR> aims to:

  • Improve the quality of information available to providers of financial capital to enable a more efficient and productive allocation of capital
  • Promote a more cohesive and efficient approach to corporate reporting that draws on different reporting strands and communicates the full range of factors that materially affect the ability of an organization to create value over time
  • Enhance accountability and stewardship for the broad base of capitals (financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural) and promote understanding of their interdependencies
  • Support integrated thinking, decision-making and actions that focus on the creation of value over the short, medium and long term.

<IR> is consistent with numerous developments in corporate reporting taking place within national jurisdictions across the world. It is intended that the International <IR> Framework, which provides principles-based guidance for companies and other organizations wishing to prepare an integrated report, will accelerate these individual initiatives and provide impetus to greater innovation in corporate reporting globally to unlock the benefits of <IR>, including the increased efficiency of the reporting process itself.

It is anticipated that, over time, <IR> will be the corporate reporting norm. No longer will a business produce numerous, disconnected and static communications. This will be delivered by the process of integrated thinking, and the application of principles such as connectivity of information.

<IR> is consistent with developments in financial and other reporting, but an integrated report also differs from other reports and communications in a number of ways. In particular, it focuses on the ability of an organization to create value in the short, medium and long term, and in so doing it:

  • Has a combined emphasis on conciseness, strategic focus and future orientation, the connectivity of information, and the capitals and their interdependencies
  • Emphasizes the importance of integrated thinking within the organization.

Integrated thinking is the active consideration by an organization of the relationships between its various operating and functional units and the capitals that the organization uses or affects. Integrated thinking leads to integrated decision-making and actions that consider the creation of value over the short, medium and long term.

Integrated thinking takes into account the connectivity and interdependencies between the range of factors that affect an organization’s ability to create value over time, including:

  • The capitals that the organization uses or affects, and the critical interdependencies, including trade-offs, between them
  • The capacity of the organization to respond to key stakeholders’ legitimate needs and interests
  • How the organization tailors its business model and strategy to respond to its external environment and the risks and opportunities it faces
  • The organization’s activities, performance (financial and other), and outcomes in terms of the capitals – past, present and future.

The more that integrated thinking is embedded into an organization’s activities, the more naturally will the connectivity of information flow into management reporting, analysis and decision-making. It also leads to better integration of the information systems that support internal and external reporting and communication, including preparation of the integrated report.


Executive Summary from the Framework

Integrated Reporting <IR> promotes a more cohesive and efficient approach to corporate reporting and aims to improve the quality of information available to providers of financial capital to enable a more efficient and productive allocation of capital.

The IIRC’s vision is a world in which integrated thinking is embedded within mainstream business practice in the public and private sectors, facilitated by <IR> as the corporate reporting norm.

AN INTEGRATED REPORT

The primary purpose of an integrated report is to explain to providers of financial capital how an organization creates value over time. An integrated report benefits all stakeholders interested in an organization’s ability to create value over time, including employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, local communities, legislators, regulators, and policy-makers.

The Framework takes a principles-based approach. The intent is to strike an appropriate balance between flexibility and prescription that recognizes the wide variation in individual circumstances of different organizations while enabling a sufficient degree of comparability across organizations to meet relevant information needs. It does not prescribe specific key performance indicators, measurement methods, or the disclosure of individual matters, but does includes a small number of requirements that are to be applied before an integrated report can be said to be in accordance with the Framework.

An integrated report may be prepared in response to existing compliance requirements, and may be either a standalone report or be included as a distinguishable, prominent and accessible part of another report or communication. It should include, on a comply or explain basis, a statement by those charged with governance accepting responsibility for the report.

FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS

An integrated report aims to provide insight about the resources and relationships used and affected by an organization – these are collectively referred to as “the capitals” in this Framework. It also seeks to explain how the organization interacts with the external environment and the capitals to create value over the short, medium and long-term.

The capitals are stocks of value that are increased, decreased or transformed through the activities and outputs of the organization. They are categorized in this Framework as financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship, and natural capital, although organizations preparing an integrated report are not required to adopt this categorization or to structure their report along the lines of the capitals.

The ability of an organization to create value for itself enables financial returns to the providers of financial capital. This is interrelated to the value the organization creates for stakeholders and society at large through a wide range of activities, interactions, and relationships. When these are material to the organization's ability to create value for itself, they are included in the integrated report.

THE FRAMEWORK

The purpose of this Framework is to establish Guiding Principles and Content Elements that govern the overall content of an integrated report, and to explain the fundamental concepts that underpin them. The Framework:

Identifies information to be included in an integrated report for use in assessing the organization’s ability to create value; it does not set benchmarks for such things as the quality of an organization’s strategy or the level of its performance

Is written primarily in the context of private sector, for-profit companies of any size, but it can also can be applied, adapted as necessary, by the public sector and not-for-profit organisations.


Media Contacts

Candy Li, PwC LLP Singapore (Tel: +65 6236 7429 Email: candy.yt.li@sg.pwc.com or pwcpress.sg@sg.pwc.com)

Jonathan Labrey (Tel: +44 (0) 207 504 2581; +44 (0)7881 270429; jonathan.labrey@theiirc.org)

Pippa Whittaker (Tel: +44 (0) 207 504 2570; +44 (0)7521 481330; pippa.whittaker@theiirc.org)