Continuing to evolve our integrated approach

We, like many leading companies, are on a journey to integrate sustainability into our decision making. We are doing this because we believe that a successful business and a sustainable business are one and the same and that by building sustainability into the fabric of what we do we will create significant value beyond financial return.

26 June 2014


Our integrated thinking has helped us to pose a new question: “How do we create value in the short, medium and long term?” To answer this we have laid out a new vision for 2022. We have set strategic objectives to get there and have evolved our business planning process to make sure it takes account of the material issues that will influence our business. We have been considering the resources and relationships that we rely upon to create value and making sure that we are optimising these to get the best result for everyone.

We have also been developing the tools that will help us get there. From development sustainability principals that inform design, construction and operations of all development projects to futures workshops that help us to identify what we will face in the future and help us make sure we are prepared for it. We have also started to think about how we measure value and have come up with an innovative way to do this across financial, social and environmental issues that cover not just our direct impact, but where we have an indirect impact and where we enable others – what we call Total Contribution.

Most importantly, integrated thinking needs to involve everyone. Led from the top, employees must also feel inspired and empowered to act, and by working with our customers, supply chain and partners we will be able to go a lot further than by ourselves.

We quickly realised that an annual report and separate sustainability report were not going to be able to tell the story of our integrated thinking. Therefore we have developed a three-year plan to develop an integrated approach to reporting. We became members of the International Integrated Reporting Council’s pilot programme and with other leading companies have been contributing to the development of the first framework on integrated reporting, which is influencing our approach. We produced our first integrated report in 2013 and focused upon understanding our business model and the material issues that influence us.

In our second report our focus has been on understanding and highlighting the importance of the resources and relationships that sustain our business and contribute to our success. This year we have also set out strategic objectives to deliver our vision, added a new ‘Our Markets’ section to explore the trends of the material issues that influence us, and the review of our portfolios now concentrates on the core activities. This has been done in a more concise way and on fewer pages. We have also attempted to start to integrate sustainability into our other communications including a review of our website.

Our approach is still evolving and in future reports we intend to:

  • review the way we measure our performance and develop robust indicators for all our strategic objectives
  • further develop and integrate the way we measure value – what we call Total Contribution
  • show improved connectivity between the different sections of our report
  • demonstrate how we are embedding integrated thinking further into our business decisions and explore case studies to reveal how this is delivering greater value.