5 lessons from SAP to spur integrated reporting and thinking

Apr 2, 2013 8:15 AM ET

By Peter Graf

Over the past several years, we at SAP have talked about how we cannot limit ourselves by merely trying to create a sustainability strategy.

Instead, we have been working to make our corporate strategy more sustainable. This month, we hit an important milestone on this journey with the publication of our first integrated report, which combines content from our annual report and sustainability report into one online experience.

The SAP Integrated Report is about much more than how we deliver information about our performance. It speaks to our vision of what it means to create value in the 21st century. No longer do financial results alone capture our ability to respond to the world's challenges or serve customers. Instead, we are looking holistically at the interrelationship between our financial and nonfinancial performance. These linkages are not just important -- they are the foundation of our future success.

We believe that leading companies will be those that best navigate the major issues of our time, a global mix of environmental, social and economic challenges. An integrated report signals that the business landscape has changed, and it is no longer possible to separate sustainability from the core of how we operate and what we deliver to customers. It is also a significant step towards truly integrated thinking, the precursor to developing a strategy and actions that ensure our future success, relevance and viability.  

We also recognize that a single report does not capture the full complexity (and messiness) of change. What will it really take to achieve the vision of an integrated report? We don't pretend to have all the answers, but we have picked up some lessons that are helping to guide our path:

Click here to continue reading about SAP's first integrated report on GreenBiz

*This article originally appeared on GreenBiz.com