(List #61) Different Approaches to Reporting

Frameworks that business schools use to report sustainability information including GRI, Integrate and others.

(List #61) Different Approaches to Reporting
Visual taken from the cover of UNSW's SIP report

A reader recently asked me what my favourite reports were this year. There are many, so I thought I’d share just seven here. Each took a very different approach when it came to their reporting. Send me your favourites and I'll share those as well.

This month I have been adding quite a few examples from the 2021-2022 Sharing Information on Progress Reports submitted to Principles for Responsible Management Education onto the website. For more, visit the website and click on Browse by Topic. As always, if you have any requests, just let me know.


1.     INTEGRATED REPORTING

Budapest Business School published an Integrated Report (2019-2020) which combines both their financial and sustainability information. The report is organised around six different types of capital: Human, Intellectual, Social & Network, Manufactured, Natural, and Financial. It includes an overview of risks and opportunities, material issues. At 43 pages, the report is also easy to read. You don’t see a lot of business schools producing integrated reports, so it is always interesting to see how those that do approach the challenge.

2.SYSTEM OF INDICATORS

I had to share this. ISAE Brazilian Business School in their 2022 Sustainability Report outlines their values on page 7. They call these GISELE: Governance, Innovation, Sustainability, Ethics, Leadership and Entrepreneurship. I approve! The report includes information in relation to PRME, SDGs, the Global Compact and GRI Standards. It also reports based on the System of Indicators of University Social Responsibility, a system developed in Latin America and used by several schools in the region.

3.REPORT WITHIN A REPORT

Recipient of the PRME SIP Recognition of Excellence for their first report is the 2019-2021 PRME SIP report from the University of Melbourne. Within the report is a mini report outlining how the school is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and Communities, outlined by PRME Principle (p.25-33). This was developed with the newly launched Dilin Duwa Centre for Indigenous Business Leadership.

4.     DIGITAL MAGAZINE

UNSW’s 2021 PRME SIP Report is presented on a platform called JOOMag which allows the reader to flip through the pages. The report provides a thorough overview of how the school is approaching these topics and integrating them throughout teaching and research. They outline a three-year plan to embed the SDGs into everything they do. The report also highlights the impact that some of the school’s research is having more widely.

5.KEEPING THINGS SHORT

Murdoch University College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Sciences’ 2020 PRME SIP Report is a handy, 5 page reference for stakeholders to get a quick overview of their approach and progress made in embedding PRME into their curriculum, research, partnerships and dialogue. While many schools are producing longer and longer reports, this approach makes the information very accessible. The report outlines their targets, progress made and future goals.

6.     WRITTEN BY STUDENTS

Newcastle Business School’s 2021 PRME SIP Report is written by a recent graduate/intern in the reporting team. As she mentions in the report, “The opportunity for a student to write this year’s Sharing Information on Progress report creates a new collaboration, between a student and the faculty, and illustrates the faculty’s genuine interest in understanding how a key stakeholder perceives, and evaluates, their progress”. The student met with students and staff to gather the information and includes their perspective throughout.

7.     MAPPING SUSTAINABILITY

Apart from being an excellent report, LUT University includes two pages (14-15) in their 2019-2021 PRME SIP Report outlining how sustainability is included in different required courses in each programme offered at the school. This includes whether it is integrated into learning goals, theories (both sustainability and discipline focused), whether it is part of assignments, if guest speakers are invited to speak about these topics and if case exercises relating to sustainability are included.