SSE wins multiple awards for reporting

Posted in Reporting, News on 18 December 2018 By Henry Ker, Stakeholder Communications Lead

SSE's 2018 annual report wins big at the PwC’s Building Public Trust Awards and the ICSA Awards.

Energy company and Emperor client SSE has won multiple awards for its 2018 annual report, picking up the FTSE 100 Annual Report of the Year and Board Disclosure of the Year at the ICSA Awards and PwC’s Building Public Trust Award for Corporate Governance Reporting in the FTSE 350.

The report was also highly commended at the Building Public Trust Awards in the Reporting in the FTSE 350 category; Purpose and Impact Reporting in the FTSE 350 and Public Interest Entities; and Workforce Fairness Reporting in the FTSE 350 categories.

The judges at the ICSA Awards commented that the report is ‘a clear winner’, adding that it ‘had made a real effort to present its investment case’, was ‘strong on stakeholders and section 172; [with an] outstanding governance section.

Specifically on the board disclosures, the judges said: “They are going through a period of massive change, yet haven’t taken their eye off the ball. The report has an excellent chairman’s statement with ‘tone from the top’, setting the culture… and exceptional discussion on board activities.”

The PwC Building Public Trust Awards judges also picked out board disclosure as being a factor in SSE’s win: “SSE wins the award with clear, visually attractive reporting that maintains a strong focus on the board’s activities and key issues during the year.”

The judges were impressed with the quality and scope of the chairman’s introduction, and its clear linkage to hot topics covered later in the report.

We are naturally very pleased and feel this reflects the cumulative effort of years of work into developing our reporting.

Alan Young Managing Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, SSE 

The key objectives for SSE's 2018 annual report were to communicate the fundamental shift in SSE’s strategy and provide a rationale for the proposed demerger of the household retail business; as well as to enhance key reporting disclosures in line with best practice.

As part of the work, Emperor completed a gap analysis of last year’s annual report and a peer review of the FTSE 100 to benchmark the quality of SSE’s reporting against best practice and identify areas for improvement.

Focus areas included: articulating the business model and how SSE creates value; aligning the strategic priorities and KPIs; enhancing the principal risks disclosure, providing more meaningful information in relation to board effectiveness and directors’ duties; and improving the discussion of stakeholder engagement.

This was recognised by the award’s judges, with PwC commenting “[The judges] noted the detailed descriptions of the board’s role in setting the culture, engaging with stakeholders and managing the demerger of SSE’s GB retail business, and of the progress and future plans springing from the board evaluation.”

One judge added: “There’s consistent linkage to the strategy throughout. This is reporting that’s clear, well written and well presented.”

Emperor and SSE worked closely on the design, which features large-scale asset photography, reflecting the transition that SSE is undertaking. There is a content-rich section on non-financial reporting which provides insight into SSE’s culture, environmental approach, stakeholder engagement and wider role in society.

Good news all round – it wouldn’t have been possible without all your help!

Kate Gill Assistant Company Secretary, SSE

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