Ground-breaking approach to understanding business value launched

Today we have published a second report into our ground-breaking approach into understanding the impacts of business beyond traditional financial indicators.


09 January 2017

First launched in 2013, ‘Total Contribution’ began as innovative approach to measuring and communicating the broader value the business creates through its activities, including those of its partners and customers. The Crown Estate manages a £12bn property portfolio and has consistently outperformed the market over the last five years.

Judith Everett, Chief Operating Officer at The Crown Estate said: “In a more uncertain world and against a backdrop of growing distrust of big business, it’s never been more important that we can effectively understand and communicate the impacts of our decisions and contribution to society.

In a more uncertain world and against a backdrop of growing distrust of big business, it’s never been more important that we can effectively understand and communicate the impacts of our decisions and contribution to society”

Judith Everett, Chief Operating Officer at The Crown Estate

“Profit and loss accounts can only tell you so much. While we can’t measure everything, Total Contribution allows us to better understand the broader impact of our decisions on the capitals we rely on, enabling us to think bigger about how we create value and deliver a more resilient business over the long term.”

Since the first report, The Crown Estate has shared its work with a wide range of companies and organisations, including A4S (Accounting for Sustainability) and IIRC (International Integrated Reporting Council), generating widespread international interest. For the second year running, PwC have also undertaken an independent assessment of the maturity of the methodology and metrics through an Insight Report.

As a result, Total Contribution has evolved further to understand impacts on business ‘capitals’, those factors which a business draws upon to deliver its commercial performance and which are interrelated. These include:

  • Financial resources available to run and grow the business
  • People, the skills, competencies and experience of employees
  • Physical resources such as the property, plant and equipment owned and used 
  • Natural resources that are managed and used
  • Know-how through collective expertise and processes of employees
  • Networks, which are the relationships with customers, communities and business partners

As part of continuing to develop a robust methodology, The Crown Estate will be collaborating with A4S through its Chief Financial Officer network, to test the approach and develop accepted metrics for measuring impact on these capitals through a wide range of industry engagement.

Claudine Blamey, Head of Sustainability at The Crown Estate said: “We’ve invested in developing the Total Contribution methodology to this stage and are excited by what’s been achieved so far. But we can’t do this on our own, which is why we want to build upon the interest generated and work across industry, including through the A4S CFO network, to test our approach, learn from each other and eventually reach a point where businesses can benchmark their performance.”

Bringing Total Contribution to life: Recruit London

In central London, where The Crown Estate manages 8m sq ft of commercial property across Regent Street and St James’s, it supports an employment scheme, Recruit London, with Westminster City Council and the Cross River Partnership, co-ordinating job opportunities with local people and businesses as well as providing career support.

Since 2009 this has helped 1,330 unemployed Londoners find work, generating around £40m through savings on welfare, tax credits, increased tax and national insurance contributions and boosts to the local economy through increased spending power.

In turn, this strengthens The Crown Estate’s relationships with commercial partners, local communities and local authorities to enhance its networks as well as supporting financial resources by supporting the success of its customers through attracting talent at no cost.

For more examples of how Total Contribution can bring to life the broader impacts of business decisions and how the contribute to performance, please see the report here:

Total Contribution Report 2017 (PDF, 4.57 MB)