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Could Mandatory Integrated Reporting Be on the Horizon?

Louis M. Thompson | September 18, 2012

The emerging concept of combining financial and sustainability reporting into one report, embraced now by a number of major global companies including United Technologies, Southwest Airlines, and American Electric Power, got a boost from a U.S. pioneer in the importance of reporting non-financial factors.

Harvard Business School professor of management practices Robert Eccles recently advocated, in an interview with MITSloan Management Review, that a company “report on the resources it consumes, the wastes it creates, the human capital it uses, and the communities it helps or disrupts.” The reporting, he said, “has the potential to be a mechanism for not just articulating actions more clearly but for spurring them, too.”

Eccles goes a step further than most, however, by asking whether integrated reporting will work if it's not mandatory. Good companies...

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