Multiple Messages – the purpose and future of Sustainable Development reportingReport
Multiple Messages: sustainability reporting in transparent times - reviews the factors driving SD reporting, finding conflicting and competing pressures and some very basic unanswered questions over why companies do it. But its most significant conclusion is that discussions over the nature and practice of SD reporting are taking place in the shadow of a tidal wave of social and technological change that is fundamentally transforming the way we communicate. Social media, instant access, handheld devices, syndication, and all-powerful search engines have conditioned users to find the content that they want when they want it. At the same time the fast-rising BRICS economies are developing their own views on the role of companies in society and affecting the way global corporations think. The one-size-fits all, once-yearly SD Report is looking increasingly out of date.
Carnstone has been in business for close to 20 years. During that time, we have become one of the biggest independent consultancies focusing exclusively on sustainability, with a deliberately low profile. We realised early on that we’d much rather be known for what we do than what we say we do. As a result, this is the first and only Impact Report we have ever published. It covers some highlights of our work over the last decade, and also offers a few reflections on the process that got us here. We hope our clients, partners and future colleagues enjoy reading it (if not, rest assured the next edition won’t be out until 2030).
With a powerful foreword by Christiana Figueres, this report is a progress update and a call to arms for media companies. Focusing on what we call the ‘brainprint’, the report is concerned with media’s superpower: the ability to shift hearts and minds, and the enormous social, political and environmental change this can create.
In the report, we explore how the sector’s management of its content impacts has moved on since the publication of Mirrors or Movers I in 2013. Media responsibility has often been creative and innovative, putting the sector’s talents to good use. But our research shows that rigour and measurement now also characterise media responsibility. This is timely, because society's expectations of what it means to be a 'responsible' media company have developed rapidly.
Based on our insights from convening the Responsible Media Forum for over 15 years, as well as interviews with experts within and beyond the sector, the report also outlines a framework for good practice in content impact measurement and six steps to impact.
In 2018 Carnstone analysed the first round of Gender Pay Gap reporting from the 350 largest listed UK companies. We have repeated and updated that analysis for 2019, again producing simple comparison tables for the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, and again comparing companies on a sectoral basis.
Want to know who has the largest or smallest gap in your sector? This report collates the mean and median gaps, the mandatory quartile data and boils it all down into a simple single-figure rating.
Our 2018 report was widely used by HR and Governance teams wanting to know how they compared against peers. So this year, we have expanded the basic data with an analysis of the biggest movers; those companies reporting the largest rises or falls in their data, and their quoted reasons for the change.
Lastly, the report also contains some initial modelling work to try and link data to cause, by exploring some of the most common drivers of gender pay inequality and investigating the tell-tale signatures they might leave in company data.