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Ecosystem of authenticity

Black Sun has been tracking the evolution of reporting for more than 14 years, examining how companies are responding to a changing environment and regulatory landscape.

What is the Complete 100?

Our extensive research assesses the Annual Report of all companies in the FTSE 100 index through an audit format that contains around 200 data points. This report discusses only a subsection of the research results.  The purpose of this report is to assess the information FTSE 100 companies are providing in the narrative sections of their Annual Report and Accounts. We believe these sections are crucial for articulating the drivers of value creation not captured by the financial statements. They also provide a vital opportunity for companies to tell a holistic story around how they plan to generate value over the long term.


The Ecosystem of Authenticity

Now more than ever businesses need the trust of their stakeholders and society at large to prosper over the long term. This trust is comprised of elements that are intrinsically linked to one another, forming part of an ecosystem, whereby change to one element automatically impacts them all. However, fundamental for all is authenticity. Without authenticity, corporate trust will ultimately not be restored.


The six principles of trust

We break the components of trust into six principles based on the expectations of society and influenced by upcoming legislative reporting requirements. For the purpose of the Annual Report, the principles serve as content themes that cut across the typical content component of an Annual Report with the aim of building trust. The Six Principles of Trust explore why and how companies currently report on each element, along with broader considerations for today and tomorrow.


A company that communicates how it is ‘part of the solution rather than the problem’ is a more trusted company.

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A company with a healthy corporate culture is seen as a safer and more attractive company to invest in, partner with, and work for.

Social licence to operate by securing the trust of key stakeholders is essential for long-term success.

A diverse board and workforce that represent a wide range of stakeholder views will make a company more informed and ultimately more trusted.

Communicating the full range of value created and the actions taken to manage, sustain, and develop these sources of value will make a company appear better prepared for the future.

Demonstrating long-term thinking and preparedness is the glue that holds the narrative together and makes it believable.


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Executive Summary