Croda: multi-channel reporting - Black Sun Plc

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Croda

Delivering a multi-channel reporting experience

Croda is the name behind the high-performance ingredients and technologies in some of the biggest, most successful brand in the world: creating, making and selling speciality chemicals that are relied on by industries and consumers everywhere.

2020 marks the third year of our partnership with Croda, conceptualising, developing and producing their Annual Report and standalone Sustainability Report. Our approach to the report has been to provide a well-rounded summary of the year for all stakeholders, whilst navigating readers to content deep dives across multiple channels, including the corporate website and Sustainability report.

Croda is the name behind the high-performance ingredients and technologies in some of the biggest, most successful brand in the world: creating, making and selling speciality chemicals that are relied on by industries and consumers everywhere.

2020 marks the third year of our partnership with Croda, conceptualising, developing and producing their Annual Report and standalone Sustainability Report. Our approach to the report has been to provide a well-rounded summary of the year for all stakeholders, whilst navigating readers to content deep dives across multiple channels, including the corporate website and Sustainability report.

Meeting the communications challenge

This year’s Annual Report was identified as one of the key tools to showcase the strength of the Group as well as Croda’s responsible attitude toward doing business.

Building on the success of last year’s report, we were able to use our understanding of the precise audiences and weighting of different stakeholders for the ARA. We worked with Croda to shape the content and structure with a clearer understanding of the core readership. Building on this, we looked to benchmark the communications with best practice across the FTSE100 to identify key areas of improvement that would help cater to Croda’s re-focused audience. 

Meeting the communications challenge

This year’s Annual Report was identified as one of the key tools to showcase the strength of the Group as well as Croda’s responsible attitude toward doing business.

Building on the success of last year’s report, we were able to use our understanding of the precise audiences and weighting of different stakeholders for the ARA. We worked with Croda to shape the content and structure with a clearer understanding of the core readership. Building on this, we looked to benchmark the communications with best practice across the FTSE100 to identify key areas of improvement that would help cater to Croda’s re-focused audience. 

Integrating sustainability into the Annual Report

At the heart of Croda is sustainability, and though they produce a standalone sustainability report, we ensure that there is enough depth and breadth of sustainability information in our Annual Report because sustainability is embedded in their strategic thinking and a crucial part of how Croda does business with their stakeholders.

After launching their ambitious 2030 Commitment last year – to be Climate, Land and People Positive, this year’s Annual Report was cited as one to highlight their initiatives that will help them in achieving this ambition, and aim to inspire those within their ecosystem, uniting all to deliver a more sustainable future and “improve lives”, demonstrating their Purpose.

A refreshed approach to governance

This year’s report saw a refreshed and reordered Governance section, with key content pulled out on feature spreads aligning to the principles of the 2018 Corporate Governance Code. The concept appeals to the ‘at-a-glance’ reader, allowing the highlights of the year to be accessible before deep-diving into Board leadership and Company purpose amongst other sections.

We also wanted to reflect that Croda is proactive in its management, and so using the backdrop of the pandemic, the section details the Board’s adaptivity in the remote running of the Company and co-ordinating multiple strategic acquisitions during a time of crisis. 

The 2020 Annual Report has received positive feedback from both internal and external stakeholders. The audience analysis tool was integral to the start of the project, as well as providing us with initial stats upon publication, with over 1,200 downloads in the first two months after publication.

Croda’s reporting has taken a further step this year, alongside increasing the depth of their disclosure, there is an understanding that their audiences want to engage with specific content across multiple platforms. The additional work done this year to develop the online content has shown great success and provides even stronger linkages between elements of the reporting suite. Overall, the 2020 ARA is an exciting and engaging reflection of Croda’s responsible approach to business. Their commitment to best practice corporate disclosures continues, as does their commitment to improving lives.