The CRRA – Judging categories

The overarching theme of the CR Reporting Awards is transparency in corporate responsibility. All successful reports will need to reflect this theme. The awards are based on the report content and communication, and are not a reflection of company performance, profile, our users’ perception of the company sector or any other such consideration. More general information on the Awards here

All these awards should be judged according to whether you feel the report is the ‘best’ from among all the nominees.  As a user we assume you will have views on what makes a good report, so we aren’t going to give you a long list of do’s and don’ts and tell you how you should vote. We’ve included a simple framework which has worked for us over the years, but you may already have your own which works for you. Over to you!

The Reporting Awards are divided into two category sections:

Category 1: Type of Report & Company

  • Best report - Every report entered into the Reporting Awards will automatically be entered into this category, which will identify the best overall report
  • Best First-time report - For a company’s first non-financial report
  • Best SME (small and medium enterprise) report - Our definition of SME is fewer than 250 employees.
  • Best Integrated report - Most corporate responsibility reports are ‘stand-alone’ ie they are separate from the Annual Report & Accounts (AR&A). Increasingly, companies are combining non-financial aspects into their AR&As, and the best are integrating them fully, rather than including just a small section of non-financial information. The award is for the report that most successfully integrates the financial & non-financial aspects.

Category 2: Transparency aspects

  1. This category seeks to identify those reports which demonstrate excellence in specific aspects of reporting

  • Best Carbon Disclosure - Which report gives the best disclosure of the company’s carbon emissions, the implications for climate change, and the mitigation measures taken? Check for policy, quantified data, targets.
  • Creativity in Communications - Which report is a real pleasure to read, because the authors have given thought to both the content and the reader? Do you find the report engaging and informative, or boring and unimaginative? This award is for the report which best succeeds in getting its message across, using creativity as a defining factor.
  • Relevance & Materiality - How many times have we seen reports which are long on length but short on relevant content? Which don’t tell us about the non-financial issues which impact company performance, but lay down a smokescreen of non-essential information? This award is for the report which cuts to the chase and tells us about the material issues (ie those specific to the company performance and sector, the risks and opportunities), clearly and succinctly. A short report which gives us the relevant information should win over a blockbuster of several hundred pages.

  • Openness and Honesty - It’s sometimes difficult to tell the whole truth. It’s easy to highlight the good news and ignore the bad. Whether performance is poor or excellent is less relevant for this award. This award is for the report which comes clean, tells both the good and the bad news, and which convinces us that this is a balanced picture.
  • Credibility through Assurance - Many of the best reports include a section on external assurance – the company engages an independent third party to verify aspects of the report, and publishes its methodology, conclusions and recommendations. This award is a joint award between the reporting company and the external assurance body, and is awarded for the assurance statement which adds the most credibility to the overall report.

A framework to help assess reports

Here are five aspects of reporting we’ve used over the past 10 years: we call them the ‘5 Cs’. You may find them helpful in assessing the reports:

Content: Does the report give a complete picture of the company’s background, impacts, policies, performance? Does it include all the necessary elements of a ‘good’ report such as an index, introduction, summary? Does it include quantified data and references for further information?

Communication: Is it easy to read and find the information you need? Is it easy to find your way around (navigation)? Is it easy to read if you have a disability, eg do you use a screen reader (accessibility)? Does it communicate well?

Credibility: Is this a genuine report or a piece of marketing public relations? Are issues such as missed targets and ongoing challenges covered as well as the more obvious highlights? Is there an independent external assurance statement, and is it helpful?

Commitment: Does this report look forward as well as backwards? Are there ongoing policy commitments and targets? Does the report set out a clear direction on corporate responsibility?

Comparability: Is performance put into context? Can you compare current performance with that from previous years, against stated targets, against sector competitors, against best practice?


If you have any questions or require further information about the CR Reporting Awards or, please email us at or call us on +44 (0)20 70143366.