Most innovative approach to corporate reporting


At RELX, a FTSE 15 business-to-business information and analytics group, corporate responsibility is ingrained in the way it operates. It is integral to its business strategy and underpins the company’s long-term record of value creation for its stakeholders.

But many of the reports and surveys that RELX produces, while useful for its investor relations audience, are long, dense and text-heavy PDFs written in a dry and factual manner. Its corporate responsibility report, which first appeared in 2002, was no exception, and its readership base often limited to shareholders. In 2020, the corporate responsibility report stood at 98 pages long with more than 296 items of data. It provided an insight into how RELX approaches corporate responsibility and highlighted progress against internal objectives, and the communications team was keen to broaden its appeal and ensure it reached a wider audience.

RELX had already been experimenting with Shorthand, parallax storytelling technology which it had used extensively to display content commissioned from leading freelance journalists. Its first article published using Shorthand, which was about its Lancet publication, generated double the number of reads compared to its more traditional articles.

Combining this approach with microtargeting on Twitter started to generate in excess of 10,000 readers for each article, at a cost of less than one pence a click. It ultimately led to a 13-fold increase in the number of reads on RELX’s website. RELX repurposed its corporate responsibility report using Shorthand, and then embedded third party tools, like Infogram, to creative interactive graphs. It also included annotations and navigation tool bars, to allow users to interact with the data and easily navigate the pages of the report.

To ensure that the report reached the right audience, RELX promoted its content on social media and microtargeted its own investors to raise their awareness of its leadership in the area of corporate responsibility, ahead of its first event on the subject.

Within a few weeks of launch, and social media promotion, RELX’s corporate responsibility report generated more than 12,400 reads. By contrast, its 2019 report had been downloaded just over 2,500 times in one year.

This has revolutionised RELX’s approach. As it asks, why would it send a PDF again when it can just send a link? And that link is

Best online report


Agency: Emperor

BT’s new corporate purpose ‘We connect for good’ came to the fore during the global pandemic, when its customers relied on the company to keep businesses running and families and friends connected. But the launch of the purpose was not the only change to the business, as it also refreshed its strategy and set out a new 2030 ambition.

All these elements had been conveyed to investors but agency Emperor was challenged to communicate BT’s short-term Covid response, as well as its longer-term ambitions for the business. Its solution was to take a story-led approach to the year’s online review.

Rather than, as is often the case, replicating the strategic report section of an annual report, it decided to use the digital space to showcase the impact of BT’s strategy in the context of its purpose in a way that would resonate with all stakeholders.

Evergreen content, such as the business model, lives on BT’s corporate website which enabled the online review to focus on powerful stories of the company’s investments and the impact these are making.

Taking a mobile first approach meant that all decisions around navigation, users’ journeys and accessing content were taken to ensure the review worked seamlessly on a small screen as well as larger ones. As users land on the home page, BT’s corporate purpose fills the screen, the final word quickly changes to ‘colleagues’, ‘customers’, ‘country’, ‘tomorrow’ before returning to ‘good’, emphasising the impact of its purpose on different stakeholders.

A short film A purposeful year provides a snapshot of BT’s activities, including details of how it helped organisations through the pandemic and insights into what the future might hold. There’s also a conversational Q&A film between Ed Petter, group corporate affairs director, and Philip Jansen, BT’s chief executive, which was conducted over Zoom.

A mixture of video-led, bite sized case studies bring BT’s actions and commitments to life, integrating its work on the sustainability front with its corporate role. Users can easily filter those of interest using the headers seen earlier – good, colleagues, customers, country and tomorrow. Each case study has its own link, which encourages sharing on social.

Since launch, the online review has reached audiences across more than 50 countries, with one in four accessing via a mobile device. It is holding users’ attention for longer than previous reviews and has a 70 per cent engagement rate with users completing up to seven events per session.  

Best annual report: FTSE 100 organisation


In early 2021, Unilever launched the Unilever Compass, a new strategy that integrated its business and sustainability strategies into one. The Unilever Compass builds on the past ten years of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, drawing on its successes and failures, and is underpinned by the belief that sustainable and purposeful businesses drive superior long-term performance.

This message became more imperative in recent years. While Covid-19 focused attention on the global healthcare crisis, it also highlighted the fragility of the world, with challenges such as climate change and inequalities becoming more important. Unilever wanted to use its 2020 annual report, Purpose-led, Future-fit, to introduce the Unilever Compass but also to demonstrate how its multi-stakeholder model, based on the six groups identified as critical to its success, guided its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Unilever Compass is introduced on page eight and is then used to demonstrate how Unilever’s strategic choices and actions will help the company to fulfil its purpose and vision. This section sets out the brand commitments implicit in the Compass – improve the health of the planet; improve people’s health; confidence and wellbeing; and contribute to a fairer, more socially inclusive world – with specific targets for each, such as pioneering new models to provide employees with flexible options by 2030 and communicating a carbon footprint for each product sold.

The report is later organised around Unilever’s six stakeholder groups, ranging from its people to customers and shareholders. The company demonstrates how it has created value with, and for, its stakeholders throughout the year, as well as how it supported each throughout the pandemic.

For example, in China it fast-tracked the launch of Domestos bleach while in Italy it rolled out a new medical hygiene spray. Lifebuoy, one of the world’s biggest soap brands, was introduced into 58 new markets, but also donated more than 30 million bars to refugees and vulnerable people around the world.

The report also highlights two specific areas of concern to Unilever’s stakeholders – plastic and climate – and provides further information, as per the TFCD framework. It is also open in its progress against 2020 non-financial targets. The report is clearly laid out, with pull out quotes and statistics, and illustrative case studies. It also clearly signposts where further information is available on its website.

Best annual report: FTSE 250 organisation


Agency: Emperor

Howdens is the UK’s leading trade kitchen supplier, offering thousands of kitchen options, joinery and hardware products. It is a leading component of the FTSE 250, with a market capitalisation approaching FTSE 100 levels, and was built on the principle that a business should be worthy of all stakeholders.

In other words, if its customers do well then its business will do well. For its 2020 report, Howdens wanted to develop its corporate narrative to better explain what it stands for by expanding upon its purpose and sustainability content, illustrating how these drive its business model and strategy.

Also, with the UK Corporate Governance Code applicable for the first time, Howdens wanted to use the new framework to highlight its strong governance and how Covid-19 had changed board processes, stakeholder engagement and decision making. The Howdens’ annual report has enjoyed a distinctive illustrative style, but the company was keen to make it even more engaging for readers.

From displaying key figures in illustrative wall cupboards and sink units, the report segues into an ‘at a glance’ section which describes Howdens’ value chain from sourcing to distribution to supporting the builder. Its new ‘our purpose-driven approach’ spread brings to life its purpose – to help our trade customers achieve exceptional results for their customers and to profit from doing so – and demonstrates how Howdens applies this to every aspect of its operations and explaining the links between purpose and value creation.

An innovative key performance indicator spread describes each KPI, explains why it is measured and uses colour coding to demonstrate how it is linked to strategy (purple), risks (risks) and remuneration (green). An extended sustainability section also includes the result of a major ESG review in which Howdens engaged with stakeholders to test its own assessment of its material ESG areas, before developing a new vision aligned with the UN SDGs and backed up with commitments and targets for the future.

The annual report is colourful, easy to navigate and jargon-free. It powerfully communicates serious messages without recourse to static and boiler-plate statements, but in an engaging manner designed to connect with all stakeholders.

Best annual report 2021

Anglian Water

Agency: Emperor

Working together for the first time, Anglian Water and agency Emperor wanted to bring out the water company’s purpose, values and strategy while tracking their progress in a compelling integrated annual report.

Recognising that the narrative structure would be key to readability and clarity, it was also used to highlight what drives the company. Starting off by laying out its corporate purpose – to bring environmental and social prosperity to the region we serve through our commitment to love every drop, it discusses how this has been enshrined throughout the business and the two-way social contract Anglian Water now has with its customers.

The report articulates Anglian Water’s mission statement – water is our business. We handle with care and we don’t cost the earth – and its values, and then sets these out against its strategic 25-year goals, its five year business plan and its stakeholders, which it defines as
Our environment and the planet
Our customers and communities
Our people and partners
Investors, banks and ratings agencies
National and local government

By structuring the report around its stakeholders, Anglian Water was able to explain how it engages with each group and highlight key areas on which it had engaged over the year. This easy-to-follow section also supported Anglian Water’s delivery of its S172 report and was in line with its commitment in its new Articles of Association to be clear in its corporate reporting, along with other corporate governance guidelines.

A creative thread runs through the report, reflecting Anglian Water’s brand identity, that states ‘The more we keep exploring, the more we’ll achieve. For everyone’, which ties into one of the water company’s values of ‘always exploring’ and also to its purpose. Hand drawn embellishments also add personality and clarity to imagery, such as an arrow through the o in the word purpose, and giant quote marks besides the faces of executives and their presentations.

There is a double page spread explaining how Anglian Water holds itself to account on sustainability and responsible business. It was an early adopter of TCFD reporting and is now in the top three per cent of 9,600 companies globally in only its second year of CPD reporting.

Best annual report 2020


Agency: Superunion

IHG comprises 16 world famous brands, such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental, across more than 100 countries, which are unified under a common purpose, which is to provide ‘True Hospitality for Good’. At no time was this more important than during the global pandemic, which led to lockdowns, travel bans, social distancing and drastically impacted the hospitality industry.

The IHG annual report serves two functions: it meets the requirements of the UK regulatory regime but also contains the necessary information for Form 20-F, the primary disclosure document of foreign companies partially listed on an American exchange.

The report kicks off with a review of the year, and details how IHG lived its purpose to care for its stakeholders and to protect the business to ensure it was ready to spring into action in the event of a recovery. Each of its four key stakeholders – its people, hotel owners, communities and customers – are described early on, and have a unique icon that is used throughout the report.

But the report is also honest about the impact that Covid-19 has had on IHG’s business, dealing with the information in a transparent and clear manner. Essential information for shareholders, particularly around the business model and its refreshed strategy, is also provided.

The wealth of information within the report, coupled with the complexity of IHG’s unique franchise model, meant that much use was made of pull outs, strong imagery, clear signage as well as conveying some information both in-depth and in short, easy to understand sections. Where possible, data is also presented graphically.

This led to sections such as Why owners choose to work with IHG, with six clearly stated reasons, such as procurement, with simple easy-to-understand imagery, that have clear links to other pages where its possible to read the reasons in more depth. Similarly, How we generate revenue ‘dumbs down’ the mechanics with simple graphics, but also provides detailed information. Each revenue element is also colour coded.

The annual report was the first external piece of communication to reflect its new brand and needed to reflect its key brand values: inclusion, engaging and bold. It takes a clear and straightforward approach to design, and works hard to make complex information easy to digest.

Best sustainability report

Telford Homes

Agency: Luminous

With a strategy that is ‘Building a Living Legacy’, London-based developer Telford Homes has always taken a strong sustainable approach to its work, winning the accolade of Britain’s most sustainable housebuilder in 2020, topping a list of 25 benchmarked by the NextGeneration scheme.

This accolade fired Telford Homes’ ambition to create a sustainability report that took ‘it to the next level’. The key challenge for agency Luminous was to communicate Telford Homes’ deep technical knowledge in a way that was engaging for all audiences. Its solution was to adopt a digital first approach, which refreshed the content and structure while reducing the word count by 30 per cent.

Interactive and animated features were used to bring the story to life, while a distinctive illustrative style was adopted that made the user experience more visually striking. The report focuses on Telford Homes’ key priorities: living legacy, balanced resources, creative building solutions and smart business, with a separate section dedicated to each.

But it first lays out its approach with an illustration of its journey to achieve net zero carbon by 2030, which encompasses dates for short-term targets along the way, such as achieving science-based carbon targets by 2024 and reducing embodied carbon by 30 per cent by 2026.

A clearly highlighted button takes users who require further details to a more in-depth journey, which includes materiality reviews and targets for BREEAM ratings.

Each section on Telford Homes’ business priorities showcases its approach through a mix of narrative, case studies and key statistics and further demonstrates its sustainability credentials. For example, its living legacy approach is illustrated with a case study about a project in South Kilburn, London to create 235 affordable homes. The scheme created nine apprenticeships, used local suppliers to provide around one fifth of the goods and services needed and diverted 97 per cent of construction waste from landfill.

The report has been successfully received, with visits to the sustainability section of Telford Homes’ website up almost 19 per cent year-to-year while the number of unique page views has risen almost 17 per cent.

Best corporate website

Portakabin Portakabin is a brand synonymous with modular buildings and offsite construction, and is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the market leader in its sector.

The scheduled launch of its new corporate website, however, coincided with outbreak of Covid-19 and a global lockdown, and served once again to demonstrate that timing is everything. With its ready-to-go modular healthcare service buildings, portable showers and changing rooms and other products that seemed apt for companies coping with the needs of Covid-19, Portakabin’s project team started the roll out of nine new websites for its European customers, including both German and French versions for the Luxembourg market, while working remotely in April 2020.

The new site had to look good, to demonstrate what existing customers and potential new leads could expect from their Portakabins, but it also had to increase the number of leads coming via the web, increase the value of the brand and provide updated content to reflect the high quality and service provided.

The new site had a different look from its predecessor, and even from its industry competitors, with new navigation, images and content. It is fully responsive on desktop, tablet and mobile. From a business point of view, it advises visitors on the location of their nearest Portakabin sales centre, offers the ability to book appointments online or to arrange a call back. It also has contact forms and a full building visualiser, allowing potential customers to select interior and exterior finishes and view what their new building might look like.

With the final site launched in 2021, Portakabin has found that a growing number of visitors return to, and have increased the time that they spend on the new site compared to the previous one. The bounce rate fell on a monthly basis in the first quarter of 2021, and is well below the level recorded by the previous site.

Targets set for on-site activities, such as completed contact forms or call back features, were also achieved; these metrics in the first quarter of 2021 were higher than the same period in 2021. The site has also been received warmly by employees, who claim it looks more professional and provides a better service for customers.

Most meaningful use of materiality

Severn Trent

Agency: Luminous

Severn Trent is a company that has been described as ‘walking the talk’ when it comes to social purpose and sustainability, with these firmly embedded throughout its operations. Consequently, its ESG story is fully integrated across its reporting suite and corporate communications.

Following the launch of its first sustainability report in 2020, when Severn Trent used its stakeholder engagement process to identify important ESG topics, the water company adopted a digital first approach in 2021. Created as a landscape interactive PDF, including animated content, hyperlinked page drivers and a top navigation to provide a browser like experience, Severn Trent adopted a double materiality assessment to provide a solid foundation for the report and its contents.

The core sustainability reporting team identified the universe of potential material issues, drawing upon its regular contacts with stakeholders, internal data, media monitoring and considering themes raised by relevant sustainability frameworks, such as the GRI and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

Guided by the GRI’s approach to prioritising impacts based on severity and likelihood, Severn Trent scored each sub-topic on two scales: the likelihood of a positive or negative impact, and the scale of that impact. Each sub-topic (or aspect of a potential material issue) received a score from one to five, which aligned with Severn Trent’s existing Enterprise Risk Management process. Each issue received a score after totalling up the scores of each sub-topic.

The five most material issues are clearly laid out for the first time in the report. They are:

Carbon and climate change

Water resource for the future
Skills and unemployment
Enhancing nature
Supporting vulnerable customers

Clear signage alongside each materiality issue directs the reader to a more in-depth explanation of what this means for Severn Water. For example, a section on ‘enhancing nature’ looks at how it can protect and nurture the ecosystem that protects and nurtures its most important resource: water.

It reveals that Severn Water has commissioned non-governmental organisations to carry out biodiversity audits on more than 60sites, as well as liaising with farmers, landowners, and partner organisations to consider biodiversity in land beyond its boundaries.

The report then digs further into each material issue, considering its performance over the year, either on a year-by-year basis or against previously set targets, before publicly announcing its targets for 2025, 2027 and 2030.

An interactive ‘understanding our impact’ section highlights Severn Trent’s positive impacts against its material issues, such as planting more than 296,000 trees. The report is clearly laid out, interactive in parts and easy to follow, with fun illustrations and graphics complementing photographs to demonstrate case studies.

Best integration of ESG into an annual report


Agency: Luminous

Having evolved its five-year business strategy to focus on four key priorities, coupled with a new regulatory environment, drinks company Britvic took the opportunity to create a unique and tailored annual report in 2020 that communicated its story in a more compelling way than before. At the core of its strategy is Britvic’s sustainability business programme Healthier People, Healthier Planet , and the drinks company was keen to reflect this emphasis on ESG throughout its report.

Its clear and comprehensive focus on ESG strategy had already been recognised by research analysts, but the report offered the opportunity to showcase this to a wider range of stakeholders.

Consequently, the report balances Britvic’s business narrative with case studies reflecting its non-financial performance, such as its enhanced plan to produce all its plastic bottles in the British market from 100 per cent rPET by the end of 2022 or the launch of four network groups to promote diversity and inclusion, such as B-Seen, which is passionate about attracting, retaining and championing employees with disabilities.

The report highlights a responsible business, through a story of values, culture, wellbeing, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. It also feeds into its Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement.

A 13-page ‘Sustainable Business’ section provides more in-depth information about Britvic’s work, including how it has integrated the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals across its strategy, having identified 12 that are most material to its business and offer the greatest opportunity to make a positive impact.

The report outlines Britvic’s 2025 targets for each goal, including doubling employee community days against a 2020 baseline, and a 35 per cent reduction in Scope 3 emissions. There are also clearly marked sections on streamlined energy and carbon reporting as well as TCFD, and its commitment to that framework. This detailed content provides relevant information in relation to ESG for internal and external stakeholders.

Most effective alignment with TCFD

Legal & General

Agency: Superunion

With a stated purpose to improve lives through inclusive capitalism, financial services giant Legal & General recognises that addressing climate change is the next step in delivering on that promise. To this end, it is one of its six growth drivers and embedded throughout the organisation, influencing how Legal & General invests its proprietary assets, how it in turn uses its influence as one of the world’s leading asset managers and simply how it operates.

Legal & General’s 2020 Climate Report – its third – once again supplements its annual report and documents its path to climate stability while demonstrating its progress in this evolving area of corporate writing.

The report has four objectives. It has to become a key part of Legal & General’s corporate communications. It has to demonstrate the strategic importance of addressing climate change. It must provide information in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. And it has to demonstrate its thinking behind the detailed disclosures.

The 35-page document adopts the straightforward approach of Legal & General’s annual report, but further evolves this to ensure that complex content is as accessible as possible. From the outset, though, Legal & General is clear that it does not have all the answers and that this is an evolving situation, both in terms of approach and metrics used, with the reporting structure described as a ‘best endeavours’ analysis. But, as both its chairman and chief executive make clear in their opening statements, the insurance company wants to be at the forefront of this movement.

In line with the TCFD recommendations, the report contains a summary page structured around the eleven recommended disclosures under the themes: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets.

The report reiterates Legal & General’s five climate risk policy statements, which were strengthened in the relevant year by its commitment to the Science Based Target Initiative. Underpinning its three strategic pillars – investment, influence and operate – the report highlights actions currently being undertaken as well as the group’s plans for the next five and ten years.

To demonstrate transparency in this evolving area of reporting, Legal & General also sets out the considerations it has made and views taken in assessing the climate risks and opportunities. It has also developed a bespoke framework Destination, in partnership with Baringa, to understand the 30-year transition, which has helped Legal & General to model three global energy pathways: business as usual, well below 2 degrees, and disorderly.

Best approach to diversity and inclusion reporting


Agency: Radley Yeldar

bp is currently on a ten-year programme to transition from an international oil company into an integrated energy company, which has diversity and inclusion at its heart. But creating an organisation that attains and retains diverse talent who enjoy an inclusive employee experience can so easily turn into a box-ticking exercise, which is why bp opted for full transparency about its journey. This led to the publication of bp’s first standalone diversity and inclusion report, as it continues to position itself as an industry leader and a company that better reflects the world in which it operates.

The report first demonstrates how bp is embedding its diversity, equity, and inclusion work into its sustainability framework, and across its wider strategy which involves tackling diversity in its supply chain. Having consulted with employee groups, bp has created a global framework for action, which focuses on three areas: transparency, accountability, and talent.

The report highlights what each area means in practice for its UK and US operations, what initiatives are being launched in each region and current progress against these. For example, under accountability in the US, bp prohibited the Confederate flag and other symbols of hate from its sites from August 2020, but also now includes this prohibition in vendor contracts. In the UK, it is establishing an ethnic minority ambition, with goals for 2025 that include 15 per cent representation at senior leadership level (from 10.2 per cent currently).

Similarly, employees in both countries now have DE&I priorities in their development plans. Eschewing reams of opaque data, the report lays out the relevant numbers in clear and easy-to-understand visualisations and is open about any shortcomings. For example, bp currently only reports gender in terms of male and female, but the report makes clear that the company is working to better understand its non-binary team members and to create a culture in which they will be able to fully declare their identity data. It is also honest that some of the gender ambitions it announced in 2012, such as 30 per cent of senior level leader roles held by females, were not reached, and that more work must be done in terms of recruitment, talent progression and retention of senior women.

The report concedes the difficulties in collating ethnicity data – it has information for just 92 per cent of the UK and US workforces – and has launched a Self-ID initiative to tackle this. But from the available information, bp’s report points out that, while ethnic minorities make up 16 per cent of its workforce in the UK, in line with the UK average, it does not reflect the ethnic make-up of the southeast, where it is predominantly based.

Throughout the report, there are stories and examples to showcase diversity and inclusion initiatives available across the business, such as the Transgender Working Group, which helped eight colleagues come out as transgender in 2020, and neurodiversity awareness training sessions.

Best use of purpose as a business driver

Anglian Water

Agency: Emperor

The first task of the new partnership between Anglian Water and design agency Emperor was to create an annual report that brought to life the utility company’s purpose, values, and strategy, but also tracked progress against these in a compelling way that captured stakeholders’ attention.

The key to the integrated report’s success would be its readability and clarity, and these dominated its narrative structure. First, the report openly sets out Anglian Water’s corporate purpose: ‘to bring environmental and social prosperity to the region we serve through our commitment to Love Every Drop’.

The Mission Statement and Values are also explained in depth, and, with the purpose, are set against Anglian Water’s strategic 25-year goals, its five-year business plan and its seven stakeholder groups, ranging from customers and communities to regulators.

The report explains the significance of each stakeholder group to Anglian Water, it then elaborates on how the utility company engages with them. For employees, for example, it highlights face-to-face meetings, communication channels for office- and field-based colleagues, site visits, meetings with three trade unions and an employee forum. It then lists the key areas of engagement for each stakeholder group over the year. For employees, it lists eight areas ranging from remuneration to mental health.

In doing so, Anglian Water set out clearly how it delivers for each stakeholder group and to share how their input shapes decisions made by the business. This section also forms a major part of Anglian Water’s S172 report, which records how directors have acted to promote the success of the business. As an early adopter of TCFD reporting, Anglian Water uses its report to demonstrate its leadership on sustainability and responsible business.

A double page spread holds the utility company to account in this area, but it is also forthcoming in other aspects. Anglian Water measures its performance against 32 commitments, its Outcome Delivery Incentives, which appear throughout the report. A double page spread lists the 32, includes the target for each and a traffic light colour code system – amber, green, and red – to show if this was reached, alongside a short explanatory paragraph.

Every aspect of the business model is clearly laid out and explained, with colourful graphics and illustrations, which carry themes throughout the report, and there is greater use of signposting and cross referencing than in Anglian Water’s previous reports. The narrative structure brings Anglian Water’s purpose and values to life in a visual style that reflects its brand identity, with the creative thread: ‘The more we keep exploring, the more we’ll achieve. For everyone.’

Most meaningful use of the SDGs

IP Group

FTSE 250-listed IP Group is a leading intellectual property commercialisation company, which focuses on evolving great ideas, especially from its partner universities, into world-changing businesses, with a special interest in life sciences, cleantech and technology. It has pioneered a unique approach to developing these ideas by providing access to business building expertise, capital, networks, recruitment and other support.

Currently, IP Group has a portfolio comprising 43 holdings valued at £1.2 billion. With sustainability and responsible investment at the heart of its approach, in 2020 IP Group carried out an ESG materiality assessment to identify the risks and opportunities that mattered most to its stakeholders.

It also aligned its portfolio with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which represent the blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. But it was keen not to ‘rainbow wash’ or shoehorn a sector or company into alignment. The SDGs are underpinned by 169 targets and 232 indicators.

IP Group considered which ones were particularly pertinent to its portfolio, and established that, while its holdings all currently influence the 17 SDGs, there is a concentration around the six most relevant to the business:
Good health and well-being
Affordable and clean energy 
Decent work and economic growth
Industry, innovation, and communities
Sustainable cities and communities
Climate action.

IP Group believes the underlying targets are vital to measuring progress and showing the real impact of the company. In its annual report, IP Group provides detailed information on how its portfolio companies, including its top 200 investments, align with certain relevant SDGs and which underlying targets prove most relevant. For example, it highlighted eight companies in its cleantech holdings that specifically align with the two goals of affordable and clean energy and climate action, while then listing seven targets related to these goals against which IP Group can measure its progress.

A series of case studies also bring to life a selection of companies and their products, demonstrating their real-world impact, such as cleantech investment Mixergy, which has developed a hot water tank that only heats what is needed, thereby saving energy and running costs.

While accepting that reporting on SDGs in a tangible and quantitative manner is still a nascent area, IG Group believes it has created a blueprint to develop this communication tool. Its approach has been both welcomed and commended by its stakeholders. In the future, IG Group hopes to provide robust and relevant data aligned with the SDGs and to build on its collection of case studies, to share the stories behind the numbers.


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