Metals and mining sector : an analysis of strategic reporting trends for 2010 and 2011

Crafford, Andrew (2013-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


Annual reports , contain information largely about the profitability of companies. This is in the form of quantitative data, which is then used to gauge the performance of shares, which is directly related to shareholder wealth. Recent global trends, with focus on more than just profit, but also on people and planet have resulted in companies now not only publishing annual reports, but also sustainability development reports. Sustainability development reports include narrative in the form of qualitative data, which is of particular interest to the larger stakeholder group as opposed to only the shareholders. The publishing of the qualitative, data as found in sustainability development reports or in integrated reports, together with the quantitative data provides a healthy balance to reporting which bodes well for future reporting. This balance is necessary because without concern and actions for people and planet, profit will eventually cease.This study is about the levels of strategic disclosure which means gauging what the reports analysed say about various strategic elements. These elements are broken down into three large categories, being base line 1, base line 2 and base line 3. The base lines consist of specific disclosure elements which are then each scored as to the level of disclosure. This study, a continuation of a study undertaken on the 2010 reports of five specific companies in the metals and mining sector, was done to gauge the levels of strategic disclosure. Three baseline measures were used and disclosure per indicator was scored, analysed, comparisons were drawn and finally conclusions were drawn as to the levels of disclosure. An additional company, the world’s largest diversified natural resources company, was added to the study as a benchmark to gauge the performance of the five case companies. Baseline 1 indicators were based on the GRI G3 reporting guidelines, which focuses on many sustainability themes. The levels of disclosure were, as anticipated, excellent because mining companies are such large resource and energy users. The overall level of disclosure for baseline 1 for the five case companies in 2011 was at an excellent disclosure level of 87%, 4% higher than the 2010 scores. Baseline 2 indicators were based on a generic strategic architecture model and surprisingly, these levels were substantially lower than baseline 1 levels. The overall levels of disclosure for baseline 2 for the five case companies in 2011 was 59%, 1% lower than in 2010. Baseline 3 indicators were based on the Osterwalder and Pigneur business model and alarmingly, these levels were at the lowest for this study. The overall levels of disclosure for baseline 3 for the five case companies for 2011 was 57%, 7% lower than in 2010. All the companies in this sector were transparent pertaining to sustainability themes, but lacked the same intensity of reporting pertaining to the other strategic areas of strategic architecture and business model alignment.

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