Ranking of Austrian Online CSR Reports

Results 2019: Verbund - Integrated Annual Report 2018

For the ranking in each category (Strategic Approach, Open Information and User Orientation) click on the respective link below.

 RankScoreAverageBest
1. STRATEGIC APPROACH1925.711.942.8
a. Were the material aspects identified according to the criteria of the GRI standard?234.36.59.4
b. Does the company take responsibility for its impact along the entire value chain?146.66.09.2
c. Does the corporate strategy include a management approach to all material topics?156.26.09.0
d. Are both harm reduction strategies and maximization of benefits pursued?156.15.69.6
e. Have appropriate structures and processes for sustainability management been set up and sufficiently presented in the report?212.44.69.1
2. OPEN INFORMATION2211.06.226.9
a. Does the report make clear and complete statements? (Key figures on all material topics, interpretation of development, definition/evaluation of goals)213.34.89.2
b. Is the report balanced? (positive / negative developments, solved / unresolved problems, etc.)243.35.08.8
c. Are internal and external stakeholders appropriately involved and are the relevant structures and processes disclosed?164.35.19.1
3. USER ORIENTATION274.34.017.0
a. Is the report clearly structured according to the material topics?270.62.84.7
b. Is the text clear and precise, easy to understand and read?261.73.04.4
c. Is the visualization appealing and does it support the understanding of the content?241.12.34.6
d. Is the report user-friendly and are online features sufficiently utilized? (Target group specific approach, optional information, links, timeliness, interactivity etc.)220.91.74.5
TOTAL RANK & SCORE2141.053.686.2
Verbund

Recommendations:

(provided by students, how the company should improve its report)

The materiality analysis based on the stakeholder survey is only done by the internal sustainability-committee, which is allegedly in close contact to the stakeholder but they don't describe if or how they actually involve them. That should be more transparent and the process should be explained in more detail.

Stakeholders are involved but the process and structures and not really disclosed. I would describe this part a bit more precise.

The report should be structured more clearly according to the material topics. It is ridiculously complicated to find the information you need, because they are scattered all over the report. They should implement interactive elements to improve the navigation in the report.

It is positive, that they involved internal and external stakeholders in the issue identification process via a survey and let them rate how important the issues are. But they questioned the stakeholders only once in 2013. It would be better to that at least every 2-3 years because the importance of certain topics will change over time and so will influence of topics on the assessments and decisions of the stakeholders.

Although the stakeholders are all already mentioned in the text it would be also good to provide a list of all the stakeholders involved in the process in the beginning of the report. This list could also include how they were involved with a short statement. Putting this on one or two pages could give a good overview for the readers and one would know immediately which stakeholders were involved and how.

To achieve a balanced report, they should not try to conceal negative aspects and unsolved problems through redirecting to the website and other external sources. They should discuss them and include strategies, measures and goals to deal with them.

To enable more transparency Verbund should also make the report more balanced. By that I mean also state negative developments and unresolved problems that they are facing currently and also explain how they plan to deal with these issues

There are numerous examples of good practices but in my opinion its way more positive than balanced. I would add some real-world evidences of also critical and negative examples.

I would add some more information about the company organs, structures that are involved as well as the information about the process and regularity.

The report would gain more interest with a clear direction with existing learnings and outcomes within a long history. Clear and precise writing of development leading to a sustainable future would positively influence every topic within the CSR parts.

Open information is available but struggles with the given content around texts. It is possible to get a view while reading which could be directed more relevant if the general approach of covered topics would gain more user-oriented style.

My recommendation for the CSR-report of Verbund would be to improve the visualization of the information. The report consists solely of text and figures which could also be supported by graphs or pictures.

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