Blurring Boundaries

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.

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How to participate in Blurring Boundaries

Blurring Boundaries supports companies by providing concrete insights into best practice sustainability reporting. It is based on an innovative and participatory model with the research funded collectively by a group of companies. For an annual fee, companies get:

  • Full report of findings, trends and best practices gathered from the companies studied
  • Active participation in the research process with the chance to discuss and guide research questions and outputs
  • A chance to discuss trends in sustainability reporting at an annual seminar with a small group of leading Italian players and an international case study

Once the research has been published, companies can request tailored benchmarking and internal workshops based on the study.

Find out more by contacting: [email protected]

The best companies manage to explain the strategic connection between sustainability and financial performance regardless of the choice of reporting document

Blurring Boundaries results