Today, the International Integrated Reporting Council launches a two-month comment period aimed at listening to and learning from the market. We’re inviting public feedback on critical incentives and barriers to applying the International <IR> Framework. And, we figure there’s no stronger pool of knowledge than that acquired by users and preparers of integrated reports and those who weave Integrated Reporting into policies and regulations.
A stroll down memory lane
With today’s launch, I find myself reflecting on the IIRC’s short but ambitious history. The release of our Framework three years ago marked a major milestone for our coalition of regulators, investors, businesses, standard setters and others. The Framework was the culmination of three years of multi-stakeholder engagement, consensus building and intensive drafting and redrafting of agreed concepts.
I recently dusted the cobwebs from our discussion paper Towards Integrated Reporting – Communicating Value in the 21st Century, which guided our September 2011 consultation period, only to discover its themes are as relevant and compelling as ever. The paper honoured the foundations of financial, management commentary, governance and remuneration, and sustainability reporting while encouraging an approach that recognizes their interdependence. The paper also hatched our multi-capitals approach to reporting as a basis for connected, or integrated, thinking by preparers and users of integrated reports.
Role of early consultation
Public consultation periods in September 2011 and April 2013 shaped and reinforced the concepts first introduced in our discussion paper. The <IR> Pilot Programme, a precursor to today’s <IR> Business Network, provided invaluable reality checks during the development of the International <IR> Framework, now used in over 30 countries.
During those pre-Framework years, the IIRC – together with its Council, Working Group, Technical Task Force, <IR> Pilot Programme and broader public support – co-wrote the script for an emerging movement. This collective effort provided form to what, at the time, was largely hypothetical.
The trend continues
Years on, we’re re-connecting to market participants to continue to advance Integrated Reporting. Our open call for feedback reaffirms our commitment to the belief that Integrated Reporting should be market led. We’re inviting those most knowledgeable about our Framework to share their thoughts on implementation and quality issues, as well as broader enablers and barriers to uptake.
Much has happened since the release of our Framework in December 2013. Adoption of Integrated Reporting has progressed from a forward-thinking few to a vast array of businesses around the world. We don’t think the time has come to modify the Framework just yet, as organizations are still learning how to make integrated reporting and thinking part of their business norm. What we do want to do is better understand this learning process – from those advanced in their thinking to those perhaps just starting out – to ensure the IIRC is on hand to guide and support this journey.
Who’s invited to comment?
We’re interested in hearing from businesses and other organizations with Framework experience, or those contemplating a shift to Integrated Reporting. From struggles to successes, your insights will inform a range of IIRC initiatives and assist others on their path to Integrated Reporting.
Likewise, we’re eager to hear from users of integrated reports, including providers of financial capital and others interested in organizations’ ability to create value.
As convener of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, we hear the call for greater alignment between reporting frameworks, standards and related requirements. We therefore invite standard setters and framework developers to share their views.
Finally, we encourage regulators, policy-makers and academics to contribute their unique perspectives on incentives and impediments to Framework implementation.
Make your voice heard
Over the next two months, our partners around the world will host focus groups in key markets. Feedback can also be submitted online via the IIRC’s website at www.integratedreporting.org/invitation-to-comment. Your input is requested by April 30, 2017.