Cbus superannuation fund publish first report in a 3 year journey towards integrated reporting

by Carol A Adams

Click here to access the Cbus report

Click here to access the Cbus report

The Cbus Annual Report for 2014/15 represents a significant first step on their journey towards integrated reporting. Cbus has been part of the <IR> Pension Fund Network for Integrated Reporting since 2013 following a meeting between Cbus CEO, David Atkin, and other Cbus executives with Paul Druckman, CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council.

The long term focus of pension funds, the significance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk considerations and the keen interest of tens of thousands of members on their retirement outcomes makes integrated reporting an important communication vehicle.  The role of pension funds in sustainable development in our economy also make both integrated reporting and sustainability reporting critical in demonstrating stewardship and accountability.

Value creation story

Integrated reporting allows pension funds to tell members how they create value in (non-financial) terms and language that they understand.  Cbus’ 725,000 + members are in the construction industry and Cbus’ mission is to maximise their retirement outcomes.  As the providers of finance to Cbus, they are the primary audience for the report along with their 96,000 employers.

Cbus uses a graphic to show how it creates value from the six capitals of integrated reporting.  It defines what each of the six capitals means to Cbus (increasing funds – financial capital; investing in building and construction – manufactured capital; investing in our people – human capital; maintaining systems and processes – intellectual capital; stewardship with respect to society, environment and community – social and relationship and natural capital).  Using a matrix format the graphic then maps each of the capitals against elements of the Cbus strategy to demonstrate how each capital contributes to value creation.

The strategy recognises that maximising retirement outcomes involves not only maximising financial returns, but also helping members make sound financial decisions, building relationships with sponsoring organisations, developing strategic partnerships and delivering products and services that meet members’ and employers’ needs.

Material issues

The report identifies material issues and the stakeholder groups for which they are material.  The majority of issues identified are material to members as well as other stakeholders and include internal and external factors, processes and outcomes material to the ability of Cbus to create value.  Cbus has also followed the GRI G4 guidelines to report on broader material sustainability impacts.

The business model

The business model diagram shows how Cbus’ processes and working together with its strategic partners produce outputs (products and services) and outcomes (for members and the economy) in the context of identified key elements of its external environment.  Elsewhere the report describes its approach to risk management and ESG issues.

Connectivity

A high level of connectivity gives readers of integrated reports confidence in the management and governance of an organisation.

As indicated above, the graphic on ‘how we create value’ links the mission, the strategy and the contribution of the six capitals.

Connectivity between performance and short term priorities is illustrated by mapping achievements and priorities against the elements of its value creation strategy.

Medium and long term strategy is linked to drivers, capabilities, processes, the external environment and other enablers.

The report also highlights key financial and non-financial data and provides a link to Cbus’ G4 sustainability indicators.

Watch this space to find out more about the process undertaken by Cbus in preparing this report, the perceived internal benefits and the reactions of report users.

Disclosure: Carol Adams provided advisory services to Cbus with respect to integrated reporting during the preparation stages of this report.  This did not include assurance services

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