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Award categories and criteria 2022

Each of the Building Public Trust Awards is judged using a set of criteria designed to reflect openness in an organisation's communications to stakeholders.

Now in their 20th year, our Building Public Trust Awards celebrate organisations who are leading the way in fair, open and insightful reporting and communications. The winners are announced at our dinner on 13 October and across our series of Corporate Reporting workshops which will be taking place in Autumn this year.

Register your interest

Click on the award titles shown below for more information on each of the categories and their criteria.

Sector awards for reporting in

Charities

Registered Charities in the Charity Finance ‘Charity 100 Index’ published in April 2022 will automatically be reviewed. There is no need to self-nominate.

We will review the latest publicly available trustees’ annual report and accounts, and associated year end reporting documents, up to the reporting period ended 31 March 2022.

There is a continuing need for the Charity sector to work hard to maintain its trusted status with the public and demonstrate its purpose and wider societal impact. This award recognises high quality and innovative reporting by Charities, which should make an impact on readers of its annual report and accounts. The principles of high quality reporting should result in better - not necessarily more - information, and tell the reader a clear and compelling story about what the Charity does, why its activities are important and what its impact has been.

Key principles:

  • The Charity's annual report and accounts are easy to read and engage the reader to find out more about its purpose, current activities and future plans. The Charity's annual report and accounts are open, balanced and authentic.
  • The Charity clearly communicates its purpose, strategic priorities and values in the context of the sphere in which it operates. The Charity considers its position in the context of its wider operational landscape. The Charity explains how it has adapted to new ways of working and highlights areas in which it has demonstrated innovation.
  • The Charity is open and honest about how it approaches key societal issues, including, where relevant, its approach to fundraising, investments, safeguarding and environment. The Charity is transparent in its disclosure of and rationale for senior management remuneration.
  • The Charity demonstrates how it is responding to changes in a digital world. The Charity presents a coherent narrative across its platforms. The information from the annual report is streamlined and included in accessible format on the Charity's website to reach a wider audience.
  • The Charity clearly explains who its key stakeholders are, with particular focus on its beneficiaries. The Charity recognises what its responsibility is to the public and how its activities benefit them.
  • The Charity clearly explains how it is governed, what its risks are and how it manages and mitigates them in relation to its current activities, the environment in which it operates and its future plans.
  • The Charity sets out its measures of success and why these are important in delivering its purpose. The Charity clearly explains the impact it has made for its beneficiaries as well as wider society.
  • The Charity clearly articulates the drivers behind its financial performance and position, including any ethical, value for money and sustainability considerations. The Charity is transparent in its considerations of its reserves and ongoing viability.
  • The Charity presents a consistent and compelling strategic narrative with explicit alignment between all of the key elements outlined above.
Clear and engaging report

FTSE 350

As questions continue to rage over the role of business in society, expectations of companies continue to rise at pace. Investor, regulator and wider societal attention remains focused on how companies balance the needs of stakeholders in their decision-making, whilst also navigating the impact of the pandemic, tackling inequality and supply chain disruption, and addressing the growing urgency of climate change.

This award celebrates those companies that present a clear, coherent and integrated strategic narrative across their channels of communication. We are looking for companies that use strategy as the backbone for the narrative; acknowledge both the challenges and opportunities; recognise their wider impact and the value they create for their key stakeholders; and present a resilient strategic vision of their short-term actions and longer-term priorities to ensure the sustainability of their business model.

The FTSE 350 as at 31 March 2022 will automatically be reviewed. The companies reviewed will be those with year ends from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, and we will review the annual report, with a particular focus on the strategic report, sustainability report and other reporting channels such as preliminary results, investor presentation and corporate website. There is no need to self-nominate.

FTSE 350

Impact in Social Enterprise (in association with the School for Social Entrepreneurs)

Social and environmental enterprises trade to tackle social and environmental issues, improve communities and people's life chances. Measuring impact is the recognised way in which a social enterprise can demonstrate how it’s delivering on its mission and the value created for its beneficiaries and society.

This award recognises social enterprises demonstrating a positive social or environmental impact. Applications are open to all UK-based social enterprises. To enter the awards, applicants must state how they demonstrate a positive social or environmental impact in 500 words or less, with the additional support of up to two pieces of evidence e.g. impact report, annual accounts, testimonials, case studies etc. We will be interested to hear from applicants as to how they have responded or adapted through COVID-19.

Prior to presenting the short list to the independent judging panel we consult representatives from the School for Social Entrepreneurs, other stakeholders and social enterprises. Our subject matter experts use the following principles to screen applications. These include that the social enterprise:

Key Principles

* ‘Impact’ has different definitions in the fields of impact measurement, evaluation, and accounting for social or environmental value, and we’re open to different approaches to the topic. When reviewing impact reports and evidence the judging panel will take into account the focus area and size of enterprise applying e.g. we wouldn't expect an in depth counterfactual impact evaluation from a small start up organisation.

** Although not essential we are interested in how social enterprises have responded or adapted through Covid-19 to create positive impact (which may or may not include changes to impact measurement or evaluation methods).

Find out more and nominate yourself

Reporting amongst companies headquartered internationally (in association with the Department for International Trade)

The largest UK operations, based on the number of employees and turnover in the UK at 31 March 2022, of companies headquartered outside the UK will automatically be reviewed. There is no need to self-nominate for this award. However, if you wish to highlight your entity please share it with us together with your reason as to why prior to 1 June 2022. We will review the latest annual report, sustainability report and supporting reporting documents such as impact reports that are accessible through the company's website.

Given the dynamic and numerous markets that businesses operate in today, there is a real need for detailed, transparent and location-specific reporting. It is no longer enough for these companies to report only on financial metrics at the group-level, as stakeholders are increasingly requiring them to report their ESG impacts and quantify their social value contributions. Companies are expected to communicate not only their performance, but also their wider impacts at a UK, and, even local, level.

This award recognises high quality reporting by companies headquartered outside the UK on their impacts and strategy relating specifically to the UK. Leading reporters will be those that clearly communicate their impacts in the UK, going beyond mandated requirements and reporting the wider economic, social, environmental and tax effects of their contributions.

Our criteria are mapped against four key areas (economic, social, environmental and tax reporting) as shown in the diagram below.

Reporting amongst companies headquartered internationally

Private Business

The assessment will review the latest publicly available annual report and accounts, and associated year end reporting documents, for the largest privately owned companies, up to the reporting period ended 31 March 2022.

This award recognises those companies that present a clear, concise and integrated narrative through their corporate reporting. A narrative that reflects on progress as well as plans for the future, balances shareholder and other key stakeholder needs, and takes an innovative approach to the way they communicate their key messages.

The particular focus of the award will be on those companies that demonstrate:

  • A clear articulation of company purpose and the alignment of that purpose with the vision, strategy and values of the company as well as the societal need it hopes to address;
  • A forward-looking orientation to the narrative including a description of the medium to long-term direction of the company in pursuit of the purpose and vision articulated by the board, supported by the short-term priorities, actions and resources needed for strategic success;
  • A clear articulation of the company’s objectives, strategic priorities and values in the context of the sphere in which it operates;
  • A description of the company’s business model including: its dependency on key resources and relationships across its value chain and how they’re managed; how it makes money; and what impact it has on these resources/relationships;
  • A discussion of the key trends shaping the markets in which the company operates as context to the strategic decisions made and what impact they’re having on its business model;
  • Recognising the new regulatory reporting requirements, a clear, specific, and dynamic discussion of how the company is governed and the principal risks, including how they are assessed, managed and mitigated - including an explanation of the company’s ESG considerations;
  • A clear discussion of the impact that the company’s ownership has on its operations and how it balances the needs of its owners with that of its other stakeholders, including the wider environment in which the business operates;
  • A recognition and discussion around the company’s key stakeholders - their material issues, impact on the strategy and business model, and the company’s response;
  • How a balanced discussion of progress, performance and impact to society is delivered- using a mix of strategic relevant financial and operational metrics; and
  • A consistent and compelling strategic narrative with explicit alignment between all of the key elements outlined above.
Private Business

Public Sector (in association with the National Audit Office)

The Public Sector award focuses on all public sector entities, many of which are consolidated into the Whole of Government Accounts (“WGA”), up to the reporting period ended 31 March 2022, which are signed off as audited prior to 21 July 2022. These entities are at the heart of public affairs and the provision of public services and effective reporting of the use of taxpayers’ monies is fundamental to our democracy in being able to hold bodies to account for what they do.

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to prove challenging for Public Sector entities, many of which are on the front line of the UK's response. Recognising the challenges facing entities reporting in a COVID environment, we are aware this means not all entities’ annual reports and accounts will be signed off as audited prior to 21 July 2022. Instead, such entities will be considered for examples of best practice reporting in FY21/22 in the Public Sector reporting workshop.

There is no need to self-nominate for this award. However, if you wish to highlight your entity please share it with us together with your reason as to why prior to 30 June 2022.

If you wish to highlight your entity as an example of best practice, please do share with us your audited annual report and accounts together with your reason(s) as to why prior to 30 September 2022 for consideration ahead of the Public Sector Reporting Workshop.

Underpinning our assessment of excellence in reporting in the Public Sector is the concept of innovation – entities who lead the way with a fresh approach to meeting the varied needs of their key stakeholders. Our award continues to give credit to those making real inroads in adopting these concepts and in driving forward fresh thinking and innovation. Transparent and insightful reporting is not necessarily about more information being included but about decluttering existing structures, taking a new and more effective approach to traditional disclosures.

Specific areas we focus on include:

  • A clear and balanced explanation of the impact (both positive and negative) of trends and factors shaping the entity’s current and future operating environment.
  • A description of the long-term strategic direction of the entity, supported by short-term priorities, actions and resources needed to keep it on track, with clear use of specific targets and resulting impact on society.
  • An insight into the entity’s business model and the key resources and relationships managed by the entity in order to achieve its strategic objectives.
  • A clear, honest and balanced analysis of the profile and dynamics of the principal risks the entity faces, including how these are managed and mitigated.
  • Clear and accessible disclosures of key financial measures that drive underlying performance.
  • Governance reporting that focuses on substance over form – balancing compliance with insight into the culture and values of the entity and how these drive its governance and "tone from the top".
  • That the reporting is understandable, consistent and accessible to stakeholders, including the general public.
Principles of a good annual report

Thematic awards for reporting on

ESG Reporting in the FTSE 350 and Public Interest Entities

The FTSE 350 and Public Interest Entities as at 31 March 2022 will automatically be reviewed. There is no need to self-nominate.

The period reviewed will cover reports with year ends from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, and we will review corporate ESG or sustainability reports (or micro-sites), corporate responsibility websites as well as annual reports and climate-related financial disclosures.

This award aims to assess the depth and relevance of broader purpose and impact reporting offered throughout the publicly available information provided to stakeholders. The particular focus of this award will be on those companies that demonstrate that their financial performance is connected with delivering a clear societal contribution and impact, that this is recognised in their purpose and delivered in a sustainable manner. The award will also consider alignment with developing standards and reporting frameworks such as those being developed by the ISSB.

This will be assessed by focusing on organisations that clearly identify the key parts of society they impact, how ESG is factored into the short, medium and long-term business strategy, how ESG risks and opportunities are managed, with balanced performance monitoring and effective targets set, how governance is effective and focused on the material issues, and finally that there is evidence to support these features.

Key components to good practice reporting for purpose and impact

Climate Change Reporting in the FTSE 350

This is the second year that this award will be made and will cover the FTSE 350 as at 31 March 2022. There is no need to self-nominate.

The period reviewed will cover reports with year ends from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, and we will review: annual reports, TCFD and climate-related disclosures, corporate ESG/ sustainability reports (or micro-sites) and corporate responsibility websites.

With the onset of mandatory climate reporting in the UK from April 2022, the award aims to assess the depth and relevance of climate-related reporting offered throughout the publicly available information provided to stakeholders.

The focus of this award will be on companies that are reporting on the impact climate change and the transition to a low carbon society will have on their business, as well as the impact their business has on climate change. The assessment will be guided by the TCFD recommendations and structure of reporting as a leading global framework, and an analysis of whether companies have demonstrated a clear climate strategy, and how they intend to deliver this over the short, medium and long term, with appropriate targets aligned with Net Zero and/or the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Scoring will be underpinned by four key themes:

Cyber reporting key criteria themes

Scoring for the Climate Change Award is underpinned by recommendations from the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosure and WEF Climate Governance Principles.

Corporate Governance Reporting in the FTSE 350

The FTSE 350 as at 31 March 2022 will automatically be reviewed. There is no need to self-nominate. However, if you wish to highlight your entity please share it with us together with your reason as to why prior to 1 June 2022.

The period reviewed will be 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, and we will read the corporate governance report, other relevant parts of annual reports (including separate committee reports), and any significant linked website content.

This award, like the others, sets a high bar and takes technical excellence as a given. Governance reporting should be about activities and outcomes – how governance has been applied – not just process and procedure, and this will be a key differentiating factor for us.

We will also focus on the quality of explanations for any departures from the UK Corporate Governance Code and how companies continue to respond to areas of emphasis in the 2018 version of the Code. Meaningful information on purpose, culture and diversity will be important here, and we will particularly be looking for good reporting of how, against the background of the COVID-19 crisis, boards are promoting the long-term success of companies and taking into account the interests of a range of stakeholders across society.

Looking ahead, we will consider how governance reports stand ahead of any updates to the risk management and internal control section of the Code resulting from the BEIS Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance consultation.

Corporate governance

Cyber Security Reporting in the FTSE 350

The FTSE 350 as of 31 March 2021 will automatically be reviewed. There is no need to self-nominate.

Each report shall be assessed by how well it demonstrates security metrics. For each metric, it shall be assigned a maturity score, either:

  • 0 (not mentioned);
  • 1 (meets expectations); or
  • 2 (exceeds expectations)

The report will be given an aggregate score equal to the sum of each of these maturity scores. The top five reports will be shortlisted for the final stage of the process, which involves holistically analysing them to determine how well they communicate their message to their audience.

Additionally, up to 10 points shall be awarded for how well each report demonstrates, from an information security perspective, its corresponding organisation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. These points shall be awarded based on the presence of the following items:

  • relevant organisational efforts to continue business operations during the pandemic (1 point);
  • anticipation of new security threats emerging as a result of the pandemic (1 point);
  • new security controls proposed in response to these threats (2 points);
  • strategy or roadmap for implementing these controls (3 points); and
  • metrics outlining the effectiveness of these controls (1 point).
  • highlighting of tier 1 incidents/equivalent encountered across the past 12 months (2 points)
  • What lessons were learnt from the tier 1 incidents/ equivalent encountered? (1 point)
Cyber reporting

Remuneration Reporting in the FTSE 350

Companies in the FTSE 350 as at 31 March 2022 will automatically be reviewed. There is no need to self-nominate.

Reporting will be reviewed for financial years ending in the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. For this award, we shall review the directors’ remuneration report and other parts of the annual report or linked website content as relevant.

This year for the award we will assess the extent to which companies explain and justify the remuneration of executive directors in the context of corporate performance, longer-term company strategy, including ESG priorities, and pay arrangements for the wider workforce.

Underpinning the award will be a focus on fairness: we’ll look for transparent disclosures which demonstrate how the remuneration of the executive directors is appropriate. Our criteria will also focus on how well companies explain the alignment of executive director remuneration with the experience of stakeholders, including employees and shareholders.

Remuneration reporting

Social Reporting (all sectors plus self nomination)

All sectors will automatically be reviewed. There is no need to self-nominate for this award. However, if you wish to highlight your entity please share it with us at uk_bptasocialreportingaward@pwc.com together with your reason as to why prior to 30 June 2022. We will review the latest annual report, sustainability report and supporting reporting documents such as impact reports that are accessible through the company's website.

Companies’ people and societal agendas are rapidly evolving in order to respond to the internal and external stakeholder expectations surrounding “S” of ESG. Whilst we have seen a steady increase in “S” factors being reflected in companies’ strategic priorities, companies need to do more to articulate what actions they are taking in practice as a result in order to demonstrate the social, not just financial, value they create. Importantly, investor and other stakeholder attention in this area means there is a growing need for companies to explain how they manage their relationships with their workforce and the societies within which they operate.

As there is currently limited guidance or legislative requirements on what companies should be reporting on in terms of their people and social agendas, it is critical for companies to consider how they convey the contribution and impact of all of the social and people levers that influence their ‘S’ strategy.

Better reporting of the 'S' is a first step towards ensuring better monitoring, assessment and auditing of companies’ people and social agendas. By encouraging good reporting, the award will encourage companies to establish more robust processes around 'S' issues meaning they are better able to externally report on actions taken and progress to date.

The Social Reporting Award will shine a light on those organisations who are leading the way and clearly articulating how they are considering their “people responsibilities”, both within and beyond their current workforce to cover their supply chain, talent pools and the communities in which they operate. This award will both review what is documented, and look beyond how strategy relates to the overall employee experience. Our goal is to identify the organisations which are driving the most innovative change, not simply those who are investing more capital.

Specific areas we will focus on in our review will include, but are not limited to:

  • Overarching strategy - Has the organisation articulated its social strategy? How has this been communicated to stakeholders?
  • Measurement and progress - How does the organisation use data to set targets and track progress on key performance indicators over time?
  • Workforce and fairness - How do organisations align employees with ESG strategies through pay, policy and behaviour and consider broader fairness within the population including, diversity and inclusion, workforce fairness, social mobility and improving employee health and wellbeing.
    • Inclusion and diversity - how does the organisation disclose mandatory figures and beyond? How does the organisation promote different diversity dimensions? How does the organisation collect data, and set and monitor I&D targets? How is I&D strategy embedded into the organisation?
    • Fairness - What narrative is provided around pay ratios reporting? What actions are taken in regards to a fair recruitment process? How is the organisation engaging with employees on the fairness agenda? Does the organisation pay the living wage in all jurisdictions?
    • Health & wellbeing - How are employees supported at work? How successfully does the organisation achieve a work life balance?
  • Upskilling - Businesses are now faced with the challenge of navigating the green skills transition. Jobs will be lost and created in the coming decades and business will need to upskill and reskill
    • Green jobs - Has the organisation identified the need to upskill/reskill? Has the organisation communicated a path to do so?
    • Recruitment - What initiatives does the organisation have in place to provide opportunities to less qualified, high potential candidates?
    • Beyond the workforce - what is the reach of the upskilling agenda, beyond current workforce, including links to the community, universities, schools and how inclusive the business is towards early entrants?
  • Supply chain - Labour rights and working conditions are increasingly significant reputational issues. Companies, particularly those with global supply chains, need to minimise the risk of labour rights, violations, modern slavery or poor working conditions throughout the supply chain.
    • Modern slavery, child labour and forced labour - How does the organisation report on Modern slavery? Has the organisation identified and modern slavery risks and potential actions to take in response to these risks? What progress has been made on supply chain conditions?
    • Human rights and labour rights - how do wages in the supply chain compare to the living wage? Do key suppliers have human rights policies?
    • Purpose in the supply chain - How does the organisation drive purpose within the supply chain
  • Social value - the impact of the business beyond its own footprint, in its communities and in its association
    • Community investment - How is the organisation investing in communities?
    • Social value commitments - What commitments has the organisation made in relation to tackling inequality (Entrepreneurship, growth and business creation, Employment)? Is the organisation considering the covid recovery and community impact?
    • Partnerships - How does the organisation collaborate with other organisations and stakeholders together to talk about social issues?
Social reporting

Tax Reporting in the FTSE 350 - UK and Multinationals

The FTSE 350 as at 31 March 2022 will automatically be reviewed, looking at the annual report and other disclosures such as statements made on a company's website, corporate responsibility reports, sustainability reports and standalone tax reports. There is no need to self-nominate.

Tax transparency continues to be a focus for a range of stakeholders, with the EU Directive for public country-by-country reporting, which was passed at the end of 2021, the latest in a series of developments in this area. Tax is increasingly seen by companies as a method of demonstrating their contribution to society, reflecting growing social and political concerns that some companies are not paying their fair share.

We have two tax awards; for tax reporting by multinationals and tax reporting by UK focused companies. This is in response to the changes in the tax transparency landscape, particularly around country-by-country reporting. While country-by-country reporting is an area addressed by leading multinational companies, it is not an issue for UK focused companies and the two awards recognise this difference.

The awards recognise clear explanations in the following areas:

  • Tax strategy: an explanation of the company’s approach to tax, providing a greater level of detail than the UK legislative requirements;
  • Tax governance and risk management: details of governance over a company’s tax affairs, providing evidence of governance in practice, again with narrative beyond the legislative requirements;
  • Tax numbers and performance: an explanation of key tax numbers, explaining why tax may not be paid at the statutory rate of tax and uncertainties in tax positions;
  • Tax and sustainability: a link between tax and the sustainability agenda, highlighting tax as part of a company’s contribution to the society where it operates.

We look for companies which have developed their voluntary tax disclosures over the last year, responding to stakeholder interest, taking an innovative approach to tax reporting.

Tax Reporting in the FTSE 350

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Alan McGill

Alan McGill

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