Reporting award winners - October 2019

Announced on 3 October 2019, the winners and highly commended organisations of the 2019 Building Public Trust Awards are showcased below covering Reporting in Charities, the FTSE, Overseas Investment (in association with
the Department for International Trade), Private Business, the Public Sector (in association with the National Audit Office), Impact in Social Enterprise (in association with The School for Social Entrepreneurs) and Impact on Workforce and Society in the FTSE. 

Read comments from the independent judging panel to see how these organisations differentiated themselves.

Building Public Trust Award 2019 for Reporting in Charities

Winner: The Royal Society

The charity’s highly engaging annual report tells a clear story that begins with a description of its three strategic priorities, and then follows these through to its achievements in the past twelve months and measurable goals for 2020. An easy-to-follow numbering system is used to link the strategic priorities, achievements and principal risks, and the process for grant-giving - one of the charity’s key activities - is explained in a simple and compelling way. The judges felt the report represented a significant improvement over the previous year’s, suggesting a conscious effort by the charity to raise its game. “The risk reporting is very clear,” commented one panel member, “and I like their targets which are focused on where they’re looking to get to.” The judges also commented on the gender pay gap reporting, which they felt was transparent and told a positive story.

Shown here (left to right): Mary Nightingale, Mary Daly, Joel Davis

Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity

Honest and transparent reporting that sets off with an easily-readable diagram, clearly summarising and linking the charity’s mission, impact goals, strategic priorities, enablers, vision and values. The organisation’s purpose is clearly explained and its reporting is open and honest about areas of activity where work will need to continue in the coming year. The risk disclosures are comprehensive, including indications of risk appetite and historic trend of the principal risks. “It’s clear from this report that the charity has done a sterling job in supporting the hospital,” commented a judge. Another added: “I like the reporting on how much was spent and where the money went. It’s very clear on funding and expenditure.”

Save the Children UK 

The charity addresses upfront the very difficult year it had in 2018, and sets out clearly the outcome of an independent review into its workplace culture. This is then linked to the discussion of the charity’s vision, strategy and risks, with details of its ‘breakthrough’ aims for 2030 and how it intends to change as an organisation. The disclosures on safeguarding go beyond the regulatory requirements, with a summary of safeguarding incidents and explanation of how the charity is actively managing the risks in this area. “A number of charities have had similar issues, and the charity has dealt with them well,” commented a member of the judging panel.

Building Public Trust Award 2019 for Reporting in the FTSE 350

Winner: SSE

SSE wins this year’s FTSE award with attractive, easily-navigable reporting that is open and honest about the challenges to its financial performance, and refreshingly clear on its position on key political issues. “I like the way they put their strategy up front, and explain the issues that matter to each stakeholder group,” commented a member of the judging panel. Another added: “The coverage of emerging trends and the future of the organisation is very good.” The judges were impressed by the clear explanation of SSE’s role in the transition to a low-carbon world, including allocating a financial cost to different elements of the journey and setting explicit targets related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. “A very straightforward and interesting read,” a panellist summed up. “Reporting that’s competent, thorough and professional.”

Shown here (left to right): Mary Nightingale, Gregor Alexander, Michael Charlton

Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

Barclays

Well-balanced and comprehensive reporting aligned around Barclays’ common purpose, “Creating opportunities to rise”. The purpose is evident throughout the reporting and forms the basis of the strategy, supported by frank disclosures on areas like cyber security, remuneration for all employees and actions to address stakeholder concerns. The judges commented positively on the clear disclosures around Barclays’ societal contribution and impact, including its standalone tax report — which goes beyond legal requirements to pinpoint its country-by-country contribution. “I really didn’t expect so much detail on ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues, such as carbon,” commented a judge. “It’s truly impressive.” Another added: “The annual report has a clear statement of values up front and useful summaries throughout, making it an easy read.”

Derwent London

Derwent’s annual report puts the company’s strategy front and centre, tracking progress against the strategy during the year through case studies and detailed disclosures against each of the strategic priorities. The strategy is also explicitly linked to the reporting on stakeholders, with clear explanations of how the company engages with different stakeholders around the issues that matter to them, and what role the board plays in this engagement programme. “The statistics on employee engagement are impressive — they’re clearly trying to do a lot of good things in their company,” commented a judge. Another added: “The ‘remuneration at-a-glance’ section is very well explained, and the reporting is very good throughout on clarity of purpose, objectives and commitment to communities.”

Building Public Trust Award 2019 for Reporting in Overseas Investment in association with the Department for International Trade

Winner: Santander UK

Santander’s UK business wins the award with clear, readable and well-presented reporting set apart by its transparent tax disclosures, including detailed coverage of tax risks, governance and principles. The judges noted the forward-looking and data-rich nature of the company’s reporting on gender pay, and the detailed overview of its diversity strategy and action plan, including ambitious targets. They also highlighted the company’s comprehensive disclosures on its policies and actions around modern slavery, which included a risk assessment based on the Global Slavery Index and a board awareness programme showcasing a real-world case study in a high-risk industry. “The audit data on the gender pay gap is compelling,” commented one judge. Another added: “The trend analysis and target-setting are especially impressive.”

Shown here (left to right): Mary Nightingale, Rachel Morrison, Monica Cueva, Michael Charlton

Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

Citigroup Global Markets 

Open and comprehensive reporting that provides transparent disclosures on all key aspects of the business and — as one judge put it — “covers all the bases.” The impact of male-dominated roles is tackled head-on in the reporting on the gender pay gap, with a clear and concise summary of the diversity strategy and actions taken to promote diversity and inclusion. The tax risk disclosures are detailed yet accessible, including an especially clear section on the company’s UK tax status. And the reporting on actions to address modern slavery has a dedicated section on the effectiveness of the steps taken, and a memorable case study on the palm oil industry. “The level of openness is impressive,” said a judge.

Sky 

Sky’s reporting is visually attractive and easily navigable, with one judge describing its annual report as “vibrant” and another calling it “inspirational”. The disclosures on tax strategy, risks and governance are clear and forward-looking, with the judges noting the mention of the UK patent box regime. Actions to address modern slavery risks across the company’s supply chain are clearly set out, including a description of a pioneering assessment the company has undertaken in South Africa. The judges especially liked Sky’s reporting on the gender pay gap, including the clear presentation of percentages and strong use of video — something the judges hadn’t seen elsewhere. One commented: “This is a really engaging and relatable way to talk about these issues.”

Building Public Trust Award 2019 for Reporting in Private Business

Winner: Marshall of Cambridge Holdings

Highly commended last year, Marshall takes first place with an annual report that sets out the company’s purpose and strategy from the start, and then clearly links the two throughout. The judges noted that Marshall is one of the first family-owned businesses to adopt the incoming corporate governance reporting requirements, and that it tells a compelling story about how it’s applied each of their six principles. The judges particularly liked the distinctive and consistent tone of voice throughout the report, and the easily-readable tabular coverage of the company’s risk management. Supporting local communities is a further central focus. “I love the way the company has stuck with Cambridge and is so committed to it,” commented a panellist. Another added: “With this annual report, Marshall has really nailed it.”

Shown here (left to right): Mary Nightingale, Sarah Moynihan, Robert Marshall, Claire Dove OBE DL

Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

Czarnikow

An early adopter — like Marshall — of the new corporate governance reporting requirements for private business, Czarnikow provides comprehensive disclosures against each of the six principles and a clear depiction of its shareholder structure. The strategy is well-defined and referenced throughout, with explicit linkages to external market factors, trends around sustainability and technology, and the company’s own vision, mission and values. The judges were particularly impressed by the table detailing how stakeholder engagement has contributed to the company’s success, and the very clear and detailed risk management section, cross-referenced to strategic goals. “The risk reporting is very good,” commented a member of the judging panel.

Tideway

A clearly presented and very readable annual report that makes good use of graphics to explain key information ranging from the route of the Thames Tideway Tunnel — London's new super-sewer — to the workings of the company’s business model. Strategy, purpose, shareholders and partners are all set out clearly from the start, with the strategy then referenced throughout using easy-to-follow colour-coding, including for the principal risks. “I like the open disclosures on things ranging from the UN Sustainable Development Goals to the political climate to executive bonuses: this is really clear story-telling,” said a judge. Another added: “Health & safety is tackled right up front — as it should be. They also have an independent complaints process in place for residents, which is good.”

Building Public Trust Award 2019 for Reporting in the Public Sector in association with the National Audit Office

Winner: Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

The first NHS foundation trust shortlisted for this award, GOSH wins with an attractive and readable annual report that provides a clear and concise graphical summary of how the trust operates, all the way from inputs through to outcomes. Eight priorities are specified at the start and then woven in throughout using distinctive icons, aiding navigation. There’s also refreshingly frank reporting on management's future expectations, expected challenges and actions to meet them. “The reporting is all very clear — and the coverage of areas such as GOSH’s world-leading research is very good,” commented one judge. Another added: “It’s well-written, wonderfully illustrated and really readable. What’s more, GOSH doesn’t try to hide that there’s been a fall in income: that gets good marks for authenticity.”

Shown here (left to right): Mary Nightingale, Helen Jameson, Anna Ferrant, Gareth Davies

Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

HM Revenue & Customs

Reporting that is clearly-signposted, easily-navigable and provides the reader with a wealth of interesting information — including how much it costs HMRC to collect each £1 of tax revenue. The disclosures are honest and open, covering areas ranging from how HMRC has performed against its public commitments for its three key objectives, to the reasons why its audit opinion was qualified. Its risk management is also clearly laid out and explained, detailing risks, impacts and mitigations. “HMRC has taken a much more personal approach in this report — it’s picked up the drive for greater authenticity in a big way,” said a judge. Another commented: “The page explaining where tax revenues come from should be required reading for everyone.”

The Crown Estate

Last year’s joint winner is highly commended for a clear, well-presented annual report that keeps its strategy and purpose front and centre, supported by strong disclosures on business model, risks and performance against KPIs. The uncertainties in the external environment are covered in an interesting and informative way, as are the actions it’s taking to address them. “The reporting is clear and engaging, with good case studies that bring The Crown Estate’s activities to life,” commented a member of the judging panel. “There’s also a strong section on continuous improvement, and a clear focus throughout on sustainability.” A fellow judge added: “I like the way they stress right at the start that customers are the heart of their business — which is demonstrably the case.”

Building Public Trust Award 2019 for Impact in Social Enterprise in association with The School for Social Entrepreneurs

Winner: Money A+E 

This award-winning social enterprise helps black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and disadvantaged communities around Plaistow in East London to achieve financial and social wellbeing and inclusion. It provides a blend of knowledge, skills and mentoring via methods including one-to-one advice, workshops and bespoke training. Among other impacts reported by Money A+E in the year to March 2019, 48 residents received one-to-one advice, 39 were supported through workshops and over 370 received mentoring. The judges noted that Money A+E’s communication with stakeholders is strong and includes direct engagement through an annual ‘evaluation day’.  “For such a relatively small-scale enterprise, its annual report is very clear — explaining what they’re doing and how it benefits people,” said a panellist. Another summed up: “Money A+E is doing so much to change people’s lives, and reports its impacts very clearly.” A third added: “An excellent impact report.”

Shown here (left to right): Mary Nightingale, Jerry During, Joel Davis, Greg Ashby

Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

Brewgooder

Brewgooder is a craft beer brand on a mission to bring clean water to one million people by 2025. It donates 100% of its profits to clean water charities and projects in developing countries, empowering and inspiring communities and individuals to reach their full potential. The judges were impressed by the results: as of May 2019, Brewgooder has benefited the lives of almost 65,000 people across 132 clean water projects in Malawi — and since 2016, it’s donated £90,000 to projects and distributed almost £50,000 to three charities. As the panellists noted, it achieves its impacts through an approach called ‘Transparency Max’, involving collaborating with leading international partners. “In terms of the social enterprise sector, Brewgooder is a relatively large and very professional player, and is clearly doing a great job,” said one of the judges.

Noise Solution

Noise Solution works with ‘hard-to-reach’ 14-to-25 year olds who have been referred from statutory services. It uses one-to-one music mentoring informed by “self-determination theory” to improved their wellbeing across health, educational and social engagement, enabling them to flourish and achieve more in their daily lives. The results are impressive: Noise Solution’s work with 113 young people across Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire has seen 40% re-engage with work, education or voluntary placements, and a 22% decrease in low wellbeing.  The judges liked the strong evidence of impact throughout the annual report, the good use of technology for impact measurement, and the showcasing of powerful personal testimonials from parents and participants. “The results are really impressive,” commented a judge. “They’re tackling really important issues with great success.”

Building Public Trust Award 2019 for Reporting on Impact on Workforce and Society in the FTSE 350

Winner: Unilever

Unilever wins the inaugural award for Impact on Workforce & Society with clear, readable and easily-navigable reporting in which — as one judge observed — the company’s “long-standing ethos, purpose and values consistently shine through”. Global issues such as the potential impacts of technology, robotics and AI on the workforce are tackled openly and honestly, stressing the need to strike a balance between taking advantage of these technologies and maintaining a human-centric approach. The judges commented positively on the company’s clear commitment to mental health, upskilling and education across and beyond its own workforce, and to working with suppliers who share its values. One said: “You can see that Unilever really does act its concept of ‘every product doing good'.”

Shown here (left to right): Mary Nightingale, Jonny McCaig, Claire Dove OBE DL

Highly commended (in alphabetical order):

BT Group

Open and attractively-presented reporting that underlines the importance BT places on improving digital skills across society and engaging with local communities. Supporting social mobility across and beyond BT’s workforce is a consistent focus, as is fostering employee wellbeing, including through flexible working and high-quality maternity policies. The judges were impressed by the discussion of BT’s organisational changes, with one panellist commenting: “This is very honest reporting: they say up front that they need to resize and reshape the business on their digital journey, they explain how they’ll help their employees through it, and they accept there will be difficult choices along the way.” Others praised the reporting on diversity and inclusion, including the recruitment of people with autism for some cyber security roles.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds defines its people-focused purpose of “Helping Britain Prosper” up front, and then puts its actions to fulfil this purpose — both in its business and across society — at the heart of its disclosures. The judges felt its reporting on workforce impacts was especially strong around diversity & inclusion, and also on staff development, where the metrics for 2018 included a 50% increase in training hours. One panellist commented positively on Lloyds’ commitment to fairness at both a workforce and societal level, adding: “There’s a lot here on enabling communities to access banking services and on working in partnership.” Other judges highlighted the bank’s work with entrepreneurs — including social entrepreneurs — and its initiatives to support apprenticeships.

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