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Strategic Direction in a Competitive Environment

                    
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Environmental Report Analysis

The technique used by Richard MacLean & Associates to rigorously examine draft reports based on a three dimensional SPACE™ evaluation (Strategic Performance And Consistency Evaluation) which is then benchmarked against other global reports. Reporting today is sophisticated and it is necessary to "peel away" the layers to get at the reality of: (1) how well a company is reporting relative to standards and industry peers; (2) how well the company is performing and meeting it's reported targets; and (3) how internally consistent and credible is the presentation.

The first dimension, benchmark, is a comparison among other reporting companies in general and in the particular industry sector the company falls within. What are they reporting and how clearly is this organized? How well does the report stack up against other reports. Measured against a template of best practice and benchmarked against their industry peers, this benchmarking activity shows where some reports excel in specific areas, and where others continue to miss the mark. They should not; there is an abundance of information now available on how to structure a CER and report consistently across key indicator areas.

The second dimension, performance, is an evaluation of actual company performance. The analogous situation is that a company may have the best looking financial report in the world, but if it is going bankrupt, it will not impress many. Business management should understand the implications of the data that is being reported and it's potential impact of stakeholders. The public relations benefits of having a good reporting format need to be weighed against the public relations disadvantages of having lagging environmental management practices. Stakeholders may be patient with lagging performance for a while, but this could become a reputational liability if performance does not improve or targets are consistently missed.

The third dimension, strategic, is a rigorous assessment of the internal consistency and credibility of the reporting effort. This is an area that is most often overlooked in evaluating environmental reports. First, because internal staff are often too close to the data to see the potential problems - the "forest for the trees" syndrome. Second, it takes highly specialized skills that few corporations have internally: an up to date knowledge of reporting practices and trends. Third, it involves an understanding of business dynamics, strategy and public relations issues. And finally, it requires meticulous attention to detail. The last point, the details, can be easily overlooked when internal staff is struggling just to keep ahead of relentless demands.

CE has used this technique to analyze reports client for a number of clients and provide feedback on improvement areas.

If you would like additional information, please complete the feedback form or contact:

Richard MacLean & Associates, LLC
350 Hidden Valley Drive
Prescott, AZ 86303-5384
928-777-9212 phone
480-227-7079 cell
E-mail: richard@rmacleanllc.com

 

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This Site Updated: December 22, 2013