What makes a sustainability leader? Meet reporting & communications champions SIG

With less than two weeks until the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards, this feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winners of the Sustainability Reporting & Communications award, SIG.

What makes a sustainability leader? Meet reporting & communications champions SIG

Pictured: Compere Julia Bradbury (right) and edie's Sarah George (left) present SIG with the award

Documenting progress towards its net- positive ambitions, SIG’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) 2018 report showcases the company’s industry-leading projects and its progress towards key targets while being transparent around challenges and shortfalls.

In 2016, packaging systems and solutions provider SIG unveiled “Way Beyond Good” – a vision to become a net-positive business by 2030, complete with an array of supporting targets and frameworks for action. The business produced its first annual CR report shortly after this vision was launched.

Fast-forward two years to 2018, and SIG’s 2018 CR report draws out the story of the company’s progress towards its key ambitions under Way Beyond Good, highlighting the impact which the firm’s actions have had on its financial performance, and the environment and people more broadly.

The facts and stats are clear to see, as the report contains an easy-to-navigate summary of 2020 targets across the pillars of a responsible company, responsible sourcing and responsible products. But the strength of the report also lies in its storytelling; it contains an “our story” page for each pillar, explaining progress in each area. The “story” pages cover the “why” behind the pillars and underlying targets and the “how” to successful delivery, with time-bound numerical targets providing succinct information on the “when”.

The summary and “our story” pages provide a succinct and accessible overview of SIG’s strategy, making it relevant to employees across all divisions and to consumers, both business and individual. They are prefaced by infographics that set out the business’s size, geographic spread and financial performance, as well as its overarching strategy, called the “Corporate Compass”.

For readers in search of more in-depth information, the report contains a materiality matrix plotting the sustainability issues against which SIG can have the largest impact; an infographic detailing where responsibility for sustainability sits within the business, both strategically and regarding delivery; and a page detailing how the Way Beyond Good strategy aims to drive progress in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It provides links through to all relevant commitments and projects, alongside information on SIG’s methodology for measuring its impact in line with the Global Goals.

In compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) requirements, the report also details the ways in which SIG engages with stakeholders around sustainability issues. In table format, it provides a clear overview of how the business adapts its engagement approach to take the views of different groups on-board, including communities, policymakers and investors. It then summarises which sustainability issues each stakeholder group raised most frequently or urgently, and the ways in which SIG is responding to these discussions.

Best-practice case studies, complete with accompanying imagery, are peppered throughout the report, as are quotes from employees and other stakeholders. Our judging panel concurred that these features added colour and interest to the report, making space for recognition of key achievements and the role of teams and individuals in delivering them. Moreover, the report contains links through to all key chapters, plus the contents, on each page, alongside arrows to help users on touchscreen devices to switch pages. It is, overall, eye-catching and interactive.

What edie’s judges said: “This report goes way beyond SIG’s strategy and highlights the company’s robust approach to sustainability. The design is fun and readable, appealing to all audiences, while the core content aligns with key frameworks and clearly shows progress against SIG’s multi-year targets. The report is also transparent about achievements and areas for improvement.”

Are you our next winner?

Now entering their 14th year for 2021, the RSA-accredited Sustainability Leaders Awards are a unique opportunity to shout about the achievements you and your company have made during this challenging year. 

Entries have now closed for the award scheme and our shortlist of finalists has been released. In a digital event on Wednesday 3 February 2021, entrants will get the chance to celebrate virtually with leaders from across the sustainability, CSR and energy space. Some exciting new categories have been added for 2021 to recognise excellence across the spectrum of sustainable business. 


edie Staff

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