Reporting & communications Archives - Simply Sustainable

Simply Sustainable

Reinvigorating reporting at Herbert Smith Freehills

We developed Herbert Smith Freehill’s 2019 Responsible Business report, featuring inspiring content and a refreshed look and feel.

Broadening the reach and appeal of annual communications


Impacts and benefits

  • A broader responsible business narrative and structure uniting global programmes within a clear framework
  • Enhanced performance metrics and reporting
  • Greater engagement with internal stakeholders and clients
  • Content used across company channels including business development, graduate recruitment and social media
  • Report available to view on the Herbert Smith Freehills website

Thank you for everything – the report looks really good and is a marked improvement on previous years. Emma Cooke Head of Citizenship, Herbert Smith Freehills

The story

One of the things we love about what we do is helping our clients to realise their ambitions. So when the team at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) told us about their desire to expand responsible business reporting in order to drive further engagement, we were thrilled to be able to support them.

The firm wasn’t new to this, having produced annual reports for each of the previous two years as part of its commitment to the UN Global Compact. Building on this, we were able to recommend an approach that would ultimately expand the reporting scope and generate content to attract a much broader internal and external audience.

During first phase we analysed HSF’s current approach against reporting best practice, targeting and agreeing specific areas for development. We then worked closely with the team to develop a structure and craft a narrative that did full justice to their far-reaching, global approach to responsible business and demonstrating its alignment with corporate objectives.

Through stakeholder interviews with senior partners, we uncovered and wrote new, engaging content – including headline features, performance highlights and case studies to showcase success – before providing our design recommendations for the final report to achieve a refreshed look and feel.

Fully fledged solutions for London Stansted Airport

Long-time companions on London Stansted Airport’s sustainability journey, we have taken on the research, development and drafting of several corporate social responsibility reports.

Aim higher with a business-class report


Impacts and benefits

  • Improved robustness and quality of reporting
  • Enhanced overall reputation

The CSR report looks good and sterling effort by all to deliver to time! Neil Robinson Director of Sustainability, Manchester Aiports Group

The story

London Stansted Airport, part of Manchester Airports Group, is London’s fastest growing airport, welcoming over 27 million passengers each year. For over five years, we have supported and advised the airport on sustainability issues, from stakeholder engagement to strategy development, responsible business reporting to communications. Recently, we have also been delighted to prove our worth with several of the company’s corporate social responsibility reports.

Progress reporting is a vital part of our work at Simply Sustainable. Done well, they are a great opportunity to enhance your company’s reputation in the world; a powerful statement about what your business stands for.

We were challenged to improve on the robustness and quality of previous reports, while keeping the end-result concise and accessible to a varied audience.

To start, we helped the team at Stansted to think through and articulate their vision and ambition for the report. Through a variety of methods including interviews, we gathered relevant data from across the business. In close consultation, we then drafted all sections of the report, and advised on the design.

London Stansted were delighted with the outcome: an engaging, fully designed CSR report that communicates effectively with all stakeholders.

Ringing the changes with EE

We created a framework for EE to accurately measure and monitor the performance of their various responsible business activities.

See what’s working with a bespoke evaluation solution


Impacts and benefits

  • Understanding of areas of success versus those with room for improvement
  • Evidence to aid more transparent, higher quality reporting
  • A lasting, transferable measurement tool

Simply Sustainable helped us identify a set of measures, enabling us to understand our programme activity and broader company performance in key responsibility areas…an effective and practical consultancy to work with…I recommend them Helen Davies Head of Responsibility, EE

The story

Leading mobile network operator EE were keen to do more to capture and evaluate the performance of their responsible business efforts. Helping companies to organise their often-disparate activities in this area is one of our passions at Simply Sustainable, and we were pleased to help.

Our first step was to identify the programmes and activities which required monitoring; these encompassed environmental performance, the training of staff and marketplace issues.

Through a desktop study and a series of interviews with stakeholders across the company, we developed an effective set of measures which have enabled EE to evaluate and report on their performance in key areas with clarity and confidence.

Benchmarking for Big Yellow

We conducted an in-depth, tailored benchmarking and gap analysis of Big Yellow’s sustainability reporting and communications, to support a refresh of their strategy in this area.

Reporting: how does your business measure up


Impacts and benefits

  • More powerful, up-to-date performance measures and targets
  • Clear alignment of reporting with global best practice standards
  • Revived sustainability policy and strategy in the public domain

Simply Sustainable conducted a thorough benchmarking exercise and gap analysis for us, which allowed us to build our refreshed policy and align our external reporting approach to industry and broader standards. Nicola, Alasdair and team delivered insights and value to our business and were a real pleasure to work with. Gabriella Zepf Head of CSR, Big Yellow Group PLC

The story

At Simply Sustainable, we conduct many benchmarking exercises each year, helping our clients to see the gaps in their reporting, and how they measure up against competitors in an evolving business landscape.

When leading self-storage company Big Yellow came to us for our expertise in 2018, we were delighted to help. We began with an analysis of the company’s reporting and online communications compared with six of its industry peers. This considered areas such as alignment to corporate strategy, approaches to stakeholder engagement, materiality, and the ways in which progress and performance were communicated.

The second stage of the process was our review of Big Yellow’s latest reporting against the requirements and principles of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards, which represent global best practice in this area.

Our final report demonstrated a clear understanding of Big Yellow’s business need and appetite, highlighting areas and recommendations that would add the most value in the short and medium-term.


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