Filter your content
10 May 2010 Posted by Simon Henderson, Corporate Responsibility
This is a question that, as a company that focuses on online reporting, we get asked a lot. And so I thought I would tackle it in my blog.
One answer is, ‘there's no such thing as our entire CR report'. Because we have integrated our CR performance reporting in our website, much of the detail that a standard printed report might provide (such as how our business is structured), we rely on existing web content to provide. We index our report against GRI (which we will publish later this week) and much of the content GRI requires is found in our Annual Report or elsewhere on our website. People are much more web-savvy these days and we don't think it is unreasonable to send them to pages outside the responsibility section if they are interested in finding out more about the business generally. It also means that we can simplify the navigation and ensures that we do not duplicate pages.
But that's not the only reason.
The advantages of web-based reporting are that we can provide much more information than would be user-friendly in a printed document. If we decided to print a ‘full' report, it would actually be much shorter and less detailed than the information provided on the web because there are very few people that would find 60,000 words on Centrica's CR performance useful, engaging and fulfilling. The point of presenting the information online is that people can pick and choose, following paths that interest them rather than having to deal with a large and unwieldy document.
We do provide downloads though. You can get a 21-page CR overview, which tells the whole story without detailed explanations of each key initiative. You can download a snapshot report, which is a leaflet that we use for events and meetings. Or you can get in-depth information about each of our key impact areas by downloading a ‘section' PDF. These include the overview and performance sections with data as well, also provided as excel downloads. If you are a real glutton for punishment, you can download all the section PDFs, the stakeholder dialogue PDF and the introduction and approach PDF, which will give you the majority of the information on the website. But it won't include our case studies and some of the detail behind the data because this is something we wouldn't provide in a printed document to the extent that we can and do on the web.
You will also find that the information doesn't work quite so well in printed format. That's because our starting point is online and we work on the content with a web based framework in mind. And our new charting tool enables users to drill down into the detail behind the information we provide in a way that wouldn't be user-friendly in print.
I hope this helps to explain our thinking with the reporting. If you disagree or think the information should be provided in a different way, do let me know. We are always willing to try new things.
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