Ethical Performance
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Centrica

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An example of reporting best practice

More by Centrica - Back to the Spring 2015 issue

case study

Watch the video here.

Energy plays a vital role in the lives of millions of individuals, families and businesses across the world. From sourcing and generating to supplying and servicing energy, Centrica is active at every stage of the energy value chain to ensure the demand for energy is met. This brings with it a responsibility to not only secure reliable and competitive energy supplies for customers, but a commitment to manage social and environmental impacts effectively while maximising the positive contribution they can make in society.

Centrica’s corporate responsibility performance reporting for 2014 was recently launched and demonstrates their commitment to doing this.

Considered a leader in corporate responsibility reporting, Centrica continued to evolve their 2014 reporting which was driven by a desire to better meet the needs of their stakeholders. This journey started by taking a step back to understand who their key stakeholders were and the best ways to engage them.

As part of this, Centrica focussed their annual reporting on helping people today and securing energy for tomorrow. This enabled them to highlight material issues key stakeholders are interested in such as how they are helping customers, supporting people and communities while delivering future energy supplies and services, in a safe and responsible way. Across these themes, effort has been taken to provide a balanced picture of performance; showing how strategy can create positive sustainability outcomes while also talking transparently about the challenges endured and the improvements needed for the future.

Centrica has additionally enhanced their multi-channel approach to online reporting which ensures progress is communicated in a way that is accessible, engaging and works well for key stakeholders.

At the heart of the reporting suite lies the Corporate Responsibility Performance Review. The Review provides a concise update on their most strategic issues from across the business in less than 30 pages, which is nearly half the length of the 2013 Review. This has been made possible through the Review’s newly digitalised interactive format which enables the document to act as a gateway to performance updates provided in wider reporting channels.

Stakeholders feel this approach is beneficial. Instead of having to wade through an unwieldy all-encompassing report, they can now choose which issues they are interested in and delve into greater detail via dedicated case studies, engaging videos and innovative infographics. For those interested in tracking performance through data, they can explore the online data centre which hosts more than 300 data points for year-on-year comparisons. Alternately, stakeholders can hear what Centrica’s people have to say about what being a responsible business means to them in their first ever employee-led ‘selfie’ video.

Moving a greater proportion of reporting out of the Review and onto the website has stimulated additional benefits too. Stakeholders can be kept up-to-date throughout the year with ongoing corporate responsibility stories from across the business. At the same time, the webpages have been revamped to simplify navigation across reporting channels so that stakeholders can clearly see where they can go to find out more on a particular issue.

This builds on successes achieved earlier in the reporting season whereby CDP, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), awarded Centrica joint first out of FTSE 350 companies and featured in the top 1% globally for action and disclosure on climate change.

2014 highlights
• British Gas helped 1.8m customers in the UK, more than any other energy supplier.
• Since 2010, Centrica calculate they have helped UK customers save over 13 million tonnes of carbon - equivalent to the average annual emissions of 2.6 million UK homes.
• Direct Energy drove a mobile exhibit across North America to engage people on the benefits of innovative products to give greater control and convenience over energy use.
• Centrica Energy committed to opening two proposed UK shale gas exploration sites, in which they hold a 25% stake, for independent monitoring by the British Geological Survey. 

See the video here.

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