Winners in the overall ranking

Tribute to 1st place
Roman Schneider, University of Zurich, Value Reporting Jury

“Alles in einem – all in one”. Integrated reporting – with its origins in the concept of value reporting – has been a strong component in the spectrum of company reporting for some time. However, up to now, hardly any companies in Switzerland have explicitly directed their attention towards this form of information disclosure. In the last year, Clariant took the step of publishing a fully integrated annual report, thus causing something of a sensation. This year too, the specialist chemicals company is promoting development with an innovative and promising approach. Clariant tells a story that elegantly blends financial and non-financial aspects of business and dynamically unites the various company-specific value creation dimensions – just as the strapline for its integrated report says, “Alles in einem ‘ all in one”.

Clariant engages in high-calibre value reporting, whereby the entire report is produced for and orientated towards its target groups based on the three clearly defined pillars of “performance, people and planet”. Sustainability and corporate responsibility are as much a part of the company's strategy as financial and risk data. But the annual report is not just impressive because of its exemplary value-orientated disclosure of information. Its design is impressive too. Images, targeted graphics and tables enhance the flow of the text. The large, light font also helps to make the report easier to read. A particularly distinctive feature is the cover of the hard copy, which is both tactile and visually pleasing thanks to the use of a textured material and intense colour effects using soft and evenly dispersed pigments. Finally, the company’s website is also exemplary: the structure is clear, the layout is attractive, navigation is easy and content is informative.

Naturally though, even with a report as exemplary as this one, there is still room for improvement. Regulatory requirements for company reporting are demanding. The expectations of the market and shareholders are constantly growing. Essential issues such as diversity and remuneration at senior management level should therefore be integrated even more strongly when disclosing information. In particular, Clariant could provide a more systematic and detailed portrayal of diversity in the Board of Directors and the senior management team – not only in the area of gender, but also in many other dimensions such as nationality, age, period of office, educational and professional training, skills and experience, and could also optimise its explanation of pay-for-performance in a spirit of transparency. We do not doubt that Clariant will listen to these suggestions with an open ear. Based on the saying “better is the enemy of the good”, perhaps we should look forward to even better reporting next year.

Overall, Clariant's redesign of its reporting demonstrates the courage to do something new. The company is taking a pioneering role in the field of integrated reporting in Switzerland and setting a benchmark as regards value reporting and design. Clariant's integrated report is groundbreaking and forward-looking. “Alles in einem – all in one”. We would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Clariant as the overall winner in this year’s Swiss annual reports ratings!