Excellence in Integrated Reporting

Excellence in Integrated Reporting benchmarks standards of integrated reporting to investors and other stakeholders in South Africa’s listed company sector.

Excellence in Integrated Reporting 2021 Report

EY is committed to continue the quest for excellence in integrated reporting. We hope that companies will be both inspired and encouraged by those who have set the bar high to improve the quality of their integrated reports.
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The 2021 EY Excellence in Integrated Reporting Survey

The purpose of the survey is to encourage and benchmark standards of excellence in the quality of integrated reporting to investors and other stakeholders in South Africa’s listed company sector. Over the years it became clear that financial statements on their own did not tell the whole story of a company’s performance. Companies therefore started reporting on their environmental impacts, employee-related issues and corporate social responsibility issues in a separate report often referred to as a sustainability report, which accompanies the financial information distributed to shareholders.

Since 2010, all companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) have been required to produce an integrated report in line with King III. This requirement has been carried forward to King IV, effective for financial years commencing on or after 1 April 2017. In addition, the JSE requires application and disclosure of King IV in any report lodged with them after 1 October 2017. EY has been commissioning the Excellence in Integrated Reporting survey for the last ten years in order to encourage excellence in the quality of integrated reporting to investors and other stakeholders by South Africa’s top companies

Recognising Excellence

It is our great pleasure to congratulate Redefine Properties for achieving first place in our 2021 awards. As you will read further in the report, available to download on this page, the judges felt Redefine’s report is attractive, well laid out and easy to read. The strategic overview, the integrated stakeholder engagement and the use of capitals to explain the group’s value creation story are examples of excellent disclosures that demonstrate integrated thinking within the group. The section of the governance report that shows how the board considers material matters to ensure the achievement of the group’s strategic objectives and desired governance outcomes can be considered best practice.

This is the tenth year that we have commissioned the Excellence in Integrated Reporting survey and awards. We believe that in times of unprecedented economic uncertainty it is more important than ever to encourage companies to report in a transparent and balanced way. EY is committed to continue the quest for excellence in integrated reporting. We hope that companies will be both inspired and encouraged by those who have set the bar high to improve the quality of their integrated reports.

We are joined on this critical journey by the University of Cape Town’s College of Accounting, as we track and evaluate the efforts by the Top 100 JSE listed companies to explain the value that they create over the short, medium and long-term. This survey is made possible by the continued involvement and dedicated efforts of Professors Alex Watson, Mark Graham and Goolam Modack, the panel of independent adjudicators from the College of Accounting at the University of Cape Town. 

We congratulate Nedbank Group and Kumba Iron Ore on achieving second and third place respectively; and our congratulations are extended to all the entities included in the Top 10 for their outstanding reports. We commend the entities that achieved the rankings of “Excellent” and “Good” for their efforts and the examples they have set. 

2021 Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards Event

The 10th Annual Excellence in Integrated Reporting Survey and Awards

Watch the 2021 Awards event here.

Read the 2021 Survey report here.

Find out more about the Annual Survey and Awards

  • About the Survey

    The purpose of the survey is to encourage and benchmark standards of excellence in the quality of integrated reporting to investors and other stakeholders in South Africa’s listed company sector.

    Over the years it became clear that financial statements on their own did not tell the whole story of a company’s performance. Companies therefore started reporting on their environmental impacts, employee-related issues and corporate social responsibility issues in a separate report often referred to as a sustainability report, which accompanies the financial information distributed to shareholders.

    Since 2010, all companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) have been required to produce an integrated report in line with King III. This requirement has been carried forward to King IV, effective for financial years commencing on or after 1 April 2017.

    In addition, the JSE requires application and disclosure of King IV in any report lodged with them after 1 October 2017. EY has been commissioning the Excellence in Integrated Reporting survey for the last nine years in order to encourage excellence in the quality of integrated reporting to investors and other stakeholders by South Africa’s top companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How are companies chosen for inclusion in the EY "Excellence" in Integrated Reporting Awards?

    The companies chosen for inclusion in the awards survey are the top 100 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which are selected on the basis of their market capitalisation on the last trading day of the calendar year. This is usually the 31st December.

    All companies are regarded as being eligible to be included in the survey other than pure holding companies, if there are any.The final top 100 includes the full range of listed companies on the JSE, from resources to industrials, retailers and financial institutions, as well as a number of companies with dual listings. In the case of those companies which operate through a dual listing structure, only the combined group is included in the survey.

  • How is the mark plan developed?

    The mark plan is developed by three adjudicators from the College of Accounting at the University of Cape Town, in conjunction with EY’s Professional Practice Group. The UCT team comprises Professors Alexandra Watson, Goolam Modack and Mark Graham. All of the adjudicators have been involved for many years in EY's "Excellence" in reporting series, and in EY’s Excellence in Integrated Reporting survey since 2011.

  • What is included in the mark plan?

    The mark plan is quite simple and is based on the Guiding Principles and Content Elements that appeared in the International Integrated Reporting Council’s <IR> Framework (the Framework), which was issued in December 2013. A mark out of ten is awarded for each of the seven Guiding Principles (i.e. strategic focus and future orientation, connectivity of information, stakeholder relationships, materiality, conciseness, reliability and completeness and lastly consistency and comparability). Similarly, a mark out of 10 is awarded for each of the eight Content Elements (i.e. organisational overview and external environment, governance, business model, risks and opportunities, strategy and resource allocation, performance, outlook and finally basis of presentation and preparation). Marks are also awarded for the extent to which the integrated report incorporates the Framework’s fundamental concepts, dealing with how value is created with reference to the six ‘capitals’ where relevant.

  • What do the adjudicators expect to see with respect to the six capitals?

    The adjudicators believe that an explanation of how a business creates value with respect to the six capitals, is a particularly suitable way for most companies to present the content that needs to be presented within its integrated report. Furthermore, an explanation of how value is created within an organisation can sensibly be structured around how value is embodied in the capitals that it uses. Doing this should also give the report a more logical flow. Therefore, whilst the adjudicators do not expect companies to explicitly structure their report around the six capitals, or use specific terminology, they would certainly look for disclosures relating to the stock and flow of the capitals (i.e. financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship as well as natural) and the extent to which tradeoffs between different capitals may influence the organisation’s strategy.

  • Which document is adjudicated?

    The document that is actually labelled as being the integrated report is reviewed and adjudicated. For the dual listed companies that do not produce an integrated report, the adjudicators evaluate the information contained in their annual report. This is generally not detrimental to those companies as many of the integrated reporting principles are included in their reports, nonetheless.The combined report is reviewed for the companies that operate through a dual listing. In all cases the online pdf or hard copy of the report is reviewed.

  • Are separate sustainability reports or other reports reviewed?

    No, the adjudicators only look at the document that is labelled as being the integrated report or the annual report in the case where companies have not produced an integrated report.

  • Do the adjudicators attempt to achieve consensus on the scores?

    No, it’s really the ranking that matters. Where an adjudicator’s ranking differs widely from the others, this is reviewed to ensure that information has not been overlooked. Often, scores may vary widely. While the adjudicators generally agree on what is good disclosure, perception of the relative importance of items may differ. Despite this, there is a high degree of consensus among the adjudicating members’ overall perceptions and recommended rankings.

  • Is there an overriding objective to the ranking?

    Yes, absolutely. The overriding objective in ranking the integrated report is the extent to which it complies with the spirit of integrated reporting which is defined by the <IR> Framework as being “a concise communication about how an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects, in the context of its external environment, lead to the creation of value over the short, medium and long term” and which King IV positions as the “culmination of a series of leadership responsibilities executed by the governing body.”

    The adjudication process results in each of the 100 companies being ranked as “Excellent”, “Good”, “Average” or “Progress to be made”. A further evaluation then results in a ranking of the 10 best integrated reports from amongst those that are ranked as “Excellent”.

  • How do the adjudicators identify and rank the Top 10?

    There are three specific areas which are believed to be crucial to excellence in integrated reporting. These are, the extent to which the report has a clear strategic focus, an emphasis on value creation and a high level of connectivity between the various elements presented. These three areas are then used to identify the Top 10 integrated reports from all the companies ranked as "Excellent" and to assign them a ranking within the Top 10.

  • Other than the Top 10, are there any other awards?

    Since 2016, an “Honours” award is given to the high quality integrated reports that have come closest to complying with all the requirements of the Framework.

  • Who adjudicates the integrated reports?

    Each of the integrated reports of the top 100 companies is separately adjudicated by each of the three adjudicators from the College of Accounting at the University of Cape Town using the pre-agreed mark plan.

  • Is this simply a box ticking exercise?

    No, absolutely not. A lot of emphasis is placed on the quality of information presented, the relevance, understandability, accessibility and connectedness of that information. This is weighed against whether users of the integrated reports would have a reasonable sense of the issues that are core to the operations of each of the companies and whether companies have dealt with the issues that users would have expected. This means that more credit is given for crisply presented information that highlights relevant facts, compared to the same information needing to be extracted from less relevant information.

Previous Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards

2020 Top 10

2020 rankings online diagrams

2019 Top 10

2018 Top 10

3D Printer design

2020 Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards and Workshop

Transparency and balance company reporting remains critical for sustained trust in the capital markets. EY is committed to continue the quest for excellence in integrated reporting. We hope that companies will be both inspired and encouraged by those who have set the bar high to improve the quality of their integrated reports.

Watch the on-demand recording of the Awards here

Watch the on-demand recording of the Workshop here

Awards Video Library

2019
2018

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