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Three Articles on the Statement Campaign and Three Interesting Surveys
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Dear Fellow Supporters of Integrated Reporting,
 
This e-mail contains three articles related to “The Statement of Significant Audiences and Materiality Campaign” and some very interesting surveys.

In a Forbes piece “The Real Duty of the Board of Directors” Tim Youmans (tyoumans@hbs.edu) and I build on our MIT Sloan Management Review blog “Why Boards Must Look Beyond Shareholders” to further explain the concept of an annual board “Statement of Significant Audiences and Materiality.”
 
In a piece published in The Economist Intelligence Unit, “And corporate directors report to…?,” Tim Nixon (timothy.nixon@thomsonreuters.com) of Thomson Reuters discusses the idea of The Statement in the context of transparency, a major interest of his. He states that “It will be very interesting to see who is in the next wave of early adopters, and how stakeholders of all stripes, including investors, start to integrate such disclosure, or not, into their own selection criteria.” Tim concludes that “More hopefully, perhaps the investment community will start to call for this kind of rigorous, contextual analysis of the social value-drivers for investments, and so reward entities that are correspondingly focused and transparent.”
 
In his blog “Response to Proposed Concept of a ‘Corporate Statement of Significant Audiences’” Sanford Lewis (sanfordlewis@gmail.com) rightly challenges the emphasis Tim Youmans and I have been placing on corporate personhood. He states that “Attaching the statement of significant audiences to the notion of corporate personhood represents unnecessary baggage” and adds that caution that “Many shareholders, individuals and organizations that could be natural supporters of the concept of a statement of significant audiences may find the references to corporate personhood to be a nonstarter.”  Sanford had written us following my e-mail on The Statement Campaign and we had a very interesting conversation about this. It opened my eyes to an entire dimension of the debate I was barely aware of so my deep appreciation to Sanford for bringing this to our attention. I would encourage any of you who also think there are aspects of this issue that Tim and I are missing to let us know and to write about this yourself.
 
Finally, I am sending you some reports that were sent to me by Georg Kell (georg.kell@arabesque.com), Founding Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, and Vice Chairman Designate of Arabesque Partners. He received them from Michael Kane (kane.michael@epa.gov) in the Office of Policy of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Michael kindly gave Georg permission to share these documents and, by the law of transitivity, I am doing that with all of you.
 
B&S Highlights 2015” is a very comprehensive list of organizations, initiatives, publications, surveys, etc. “Global ESG Survey 2015” is a 71-page document on Environmental, Social and Governance Policies of National Governments, International Organizations and Institutional Investors. “Sustainable Banking Global Survey 2015” is a 51-page document about Organizations with Sustainable Banking Programs and Resources. As well all know, keeping track of the many exciting things going on in the world of sustainable development is no mean feat. The work Michael is done is incredibly useful so I thank him for that. I’ll also try to get myself on his mailing list so I can keep all of you informed of his work.

 
Kind regards,

Bob


Robert G. Eccles | Professor of Management Practice | Harvard Business School
Facebook: facebook.com/innovatingforsustainability
Twitter: twitter.com/rgeccles
Email: reccles@hbs.edu
Phone: 617.495.8585
 
Hon. FCCA

Movement: Meaning, Momentum, Motives, and Materiality