Blurring Boundaries is a research project created by Lundquist in 2018 to guide companies in a new landscape for sustainability reporting, one in which the traditionally clear confine between financial and non-financial topics is breaking down. How companies interpret the interplay between financial performance and their approach to sustainability is emerging as a key attribute of best practice reporting.
The project aims to understand how sustainability is evolving through an analysis of reporting practices by leading companies in Italy and across Europe:
In Italy: 40 members of the benchmark FTSE MIB index plus 10 top non-listed names
In Europe: “Gold class” members of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and industry movers.
We conduct a quantitative and qualitative analysis looking at where and how sustainability is integrated into corporate documents, covering annual, integrated and sustainability reports as well as the connectivity between financial and non-financial topics. We examine everything from materiality to guidelines, from digital formats to visual communications. We are guided by questions such as:
What role should sustainability play within overall reporting activities? Is it better to move to integrated reporting or will a standalone sustainability report still be needed?
What non-financial/sustainability topics are considered key by companies and how do they relate to traditionally business-focused topics?
How should materiality affect the way reporting is organised?
How can use be made of narrative elements to better convey a distinctive approach to sustainability and how it supports the business?
How can digital channels help maximise the impact of reporting? Is it worthwhile investing in an online report?
A whitepaper with key findings will be published in late 2018.