Reporting with purpose and impact

Celebrating openness in your sustainability reporting

Celebrating openness in your sustainability reporting

This year’s Building Public Trust Awards mark the 10th year that we've reviewed sustainability reporting across the FTSE 350 and, more recently, public interest entities (PIEs). In the last decade, sustainability issues such as climate change, modern slavery and ocean pollution have entered the public consciousness like never before. Society has increasing expectations of the role businesses should play in tackling some of the planet’s biggest challenges. Organisations are expected to not only minimise their negative impacts, but to contribute positively to both society and the environment. Companies have the power to be a force for good, and many are articulating this as part of a clear corporate purpose that's central to their business.

In recognition of this shift, we're proud to announce that our award now celebrates openness in ‘Purpose and Impact reporting in the FTSE 350 and PIEs’. We believe that an open, thorough and proactive approach to purpose and impact is a key way for businesses to mitigate risk in today’s volatile and unpredictable environment.

Our analysis of this year’s reporting was presented to an independent panel, which chose a winner alongside two highly commended companies. These prestigious awards are presented at our annual Building Public Trust Awards luncheon, this year held on 29 November 2018. After this date, you can see the winning and highly commended organisations at

In choosing the winner, we reviewed reporting of over 400 organisations. Our in-depth approach and our long history of these reviews gives us insight into what a great report looks like, and how innovation in reporting is developing.

Our annual assessment of private sector sustainability reports has highlighted the following trends in the state of sustainbility reporting this year: Disclosing wider impacts; Better alignment to SDGs; Growing emphasis on stakeholders; Purposeful business; Retail and consumer continues to shine

Sustainability reporting tips

Each year, we publish our sustainability reporting tips, which you can download in full above. These tips highlight leading practice in sustainability reporting and help make companies’ reporting on sustainability more effective. In the private sector, the organisations following these tips are setting a lead for others to follow. We've categorised the tips under five key questions which your reporting should answer:

Each year, we also publish Sustainability Reporting Tips. These tips highlight leading practice in sustainability reporting and help make companies’ reporting on sustainability more effective. In both the private and the public sector, the organisations following these tips in their sustainability reporting are setting a lead for others to follow.

How does sustainability fit with your organisation’s strategy?

Organisation Overview

Provide an overview of your organisation’s key activities and the environment in which you operate.


Communicate a clear and succinct purpose that explains your company’s raison d’être beyond creating a financial return for shareholders.


Describe how your sustainability strategy is integrated into your core corporate strategy and demonstrate how it permeates throughout your business.

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How do you consider your priorities?


Demonstrate that you have an understanding of the sustainability issues that are most relevant to you and your key stakeholders.

Stakeholder engagement

Explain how you engage with principal stakeholders and how this has impacted your sustainability strategy.

Risks and opportunities

Explain the key strategic risks and opportunities for your organisation that arise from sustainability issues.

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How do you monitor and manage performance?

KPIs and targets

Identify KPIs that are directly relevant to your sustainability strategy and set challenging, but realistic targets that you can review your performance against.


Provide a clear explanation and quantification of the social, environmental and economic impacts of your business.


Provide a clear explanation of the company’s sustainability governance structure and explain how directors and staff are incentivised to deliver on the sustainability strategy.


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How do you consider the broader viability of the business?

Value chain

Consider relevant upstream and downstream value chain aspects of your business in order to take account of all environmental, social and economic impacts, both positive and negative.

Future proofing

Disclose that you've considered the future resource constraints that might affect your business e.g. nonfinancial capitals including natural capital and human capital.

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How do you report with clarity and transparency?

Balanced reporting

Present information in a balanced and transparent fashion and explain where and how improvements will be made.


Ensure the credibility of your reported content by referencing, for example, independent studies, external benchmarking, expert review panels or external third party assurance.

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Contact us

Alan McGill

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 7711 915 663

Emma Cox

UK Leader Sustainability & Climate Change, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7973 317011

Gordon Wilson

Senior Manager, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7841 468723

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