Sainsbury’s and BT use prince’s modelFebruary 2008
A supermarket chain and a telecoms company are to use a new social reporting framework devised by audit and accounting specialists brought together by the Prince of Wales.
Sainsbury’s and BT will apply the Connected Reporting Framework to their data collection and presentation. The framework, one of the main outcomes of a year-long Accounting for Sustainability project personally initiated by the Prince, emphasizes the importance of incorporating non-financial data within overall business strategy. Aviva, EDF Energy and HSBC have tested the framework using actual data and will continue to use it. BP also plans to do so.
One of the project’s original stated aims was to guide business in finding ways of presenting externalized social and environmental costs not shown in formal accounts.
However, its final report makes little mention of this. One steering committee member told EP: ‘We found that in the reporting space you either have people operating at the practical end on the ground or those who are at 40,000 feet, and it’s difficult to find a middle ground. We decided from the outset that we didn’t have the ambition to come up with a new accounting system and would instead focus on helping organizations to make better use of existing financial and non-financial information.’
The framework, produced after consultation with more than 150 public and private sector bodies, is available as a free download. It is primarily concerned with environmental impacts but ‘can be developed to include social and ethical factors.’
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