Vision, Mission, Values, Policy, Objectives

Financial Report Sustainability Report
Increasingly, organizations provide condensed versions of their vision and mission statements, policies, and objectives in their annual report.

Investors need to know the strategy of an organization to help interpret the financial results.

The environmental and social dimensions of operations should be integrated in the organization’s overall direction.  However, separate policy statements and objectives are often necessary to give the environmental and social sufficient emphasis.

These statements provide the context against which to interpret organizational performance.

What Happens in Practice?

Sol Melia is an international hospitality company headquartered in Spain. It provides its mission, vision, legacy, and principles in its sustainability report. The remainder of the report should evolve from these commitments to show the company’s progress in fulfilling them. Click here to view.
M&S (Marks and Spencer Group), based in the United Kingdom, is a retail clothing and food company. It provides its full list of commitments elsewhere in the report which have been expanded from 100 to 180 commitments from 2007-2012 to 2010-2015. It extents those commitments to zero carbon and zero waste, fair and healthy by 2030. These two pages from its report provide details as to how the expanded plan will be implemented: 

  • involving customers
  • making expanded Plan A normal business operations

It also shows some of M&S’s accomplishments under the initial Plan A. Be sure to note how M&S strategy and commitment have changed from 1980 to current and will change in the future. Click here to view.

Fast Facts

How many companies have strategy, objectives and indicators linked to data?

Of the largest 250 companies globally, most companies link their systems:

  • 73 percent identified objectives consistent with their strategy;
  • 65 percent have performance indicators linked to objectives and;
  • 60 percent provide data for their performance indicators.

– Source: KPMG International Survey of Corporate responsibility 2008

Takeaway

Providing policies and other statements for readers allows them to assess if the organization is doing what it said it would do.

(See The Basics module for more information.)