The International Integrated Reporting Council unveiled an <IR> Academic Database on Wednesday, featuring more than 200 academic studies on the ramifications of integrated reporting, as well as discussing some of the best practices emerging in the field.
Integrated reporting combines financial reporting and sustainability reporting, along with information about the governance, strategy, intellectual property, societal impact and other facets of an organization. The IIRC has developed a framework for integrated reporting, or <IR>, that revolves around six “capitals” to be included in integrated reports. A number of large corporations such as SAP and Clorox have been producing integrated reports in recent years, especially abroad, although the trend has not yet caught on widely in the U.S.
Research included in the IIRC’s new database found that integrated reporting has led to greater stock liquidity, better performance, higher market valuation and a longer-term investor base for the businesses that adopt it. The database is available for free.
More than 1,600 companies in 65 countries are now using integrated reporting to communicate how their various resources are creating value. The reports can help businesses think more holistically about their strategy and how to manage key risks.
Speaking at the launch of the database at the American Accounting Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., IIRC CEO Richard Howitt said, “What we have seen since the framework for integrated reporting was introduced to the world five years ago is nothing short than extraordinary. The evidence is there — in this database — that corroborates what I have always believed, integrated reporting can help instill financial stability and sustainable development in our markets. I urge any business leader not yet on the road to integrated reporting, or any investor that isn’t routinely using integrated reports to support their capital allocation decisions, to visit this database. With over 200 pieces of research, businesses can no longer ignore the need to communicate a holistic story of value creation to their stakeholders. Integrated reporting is not just the right thing to do for the sake of our markets, society and environment – it is the right thing to do for your business.”
The database provides the most comprehensive collection of scholarly research to date on the impact of integrated reporting around the world. The IIRC sees it as the focal point for academic research on integrated reporting in the future and as a way to provide opportunity for further study, complementing the IIRC’s global <IR> Academic Network. The Italian communications agency, Mercurio GP, helped the IIRC develop the database.