Over the past year Bendigo and Adelaide Bank recognised that it could more effectively communicate to stakeholders its social and environmental outcomes, and undertook a review of its annual formal reporting document, its Annual Review.
Sam Moore, Head of Community Bank Model Development, shares how the bank’s Annual Review released in September incorporated shared value terminology for the first time, and presents what shared value means for the bank and how it has become a core part of the bank’s purpose.
Over the past year Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, recognising that it could more effectively communicate to stakeholders its social and environmental outcomes, undertook a review of its annual formal reporting document, its Annual Review. The bank wanted to be more deliberate in reporting what it did in environment and society, addressing a perception that these outcomes weren’t being consistently understood by its stakeholders.
At the same time, there was an increasing level of discussion at the bank regarding “Creating Shared Value”, acknowledging that it describes well one of the bank’s key strategies, Community Bank.
With the formal review underway and the Creating Shared Value discussion gaining momentum and airtime, and intuitive overlap, the bank grappled with how to reconcile the two and present them in its Annual Review. Especially considering that some of the social and environmental outcomes were better described as the outcomes of philanthropy, rather than a core part of a Creating Shared Value strategy.
This led us to try to define the key elements of Creating Shared Value. We settled on these as:
1. Firstly, a foundational belief that successful businesses need successful communities
2. Secondly, an identified a social issue
3. Next the core business applied to make a positive contribution to
4. Fourthly, done it in such a way that community sees business success and society’s success in the same way
5. And lastly, a competitive advantage to the business resulting
In the end, we agreed that for the bank point 1 is a foundation for Creating Shared Value, as much as it is for philanthropy and CSR. This foundational belief is embedded in the bank’s stated vision, strategy and purpose. We recognised that sometimes this is then executed through following points 2 to 5 (a “shared value” strategy), but sometimes it isn’t. These other strategies could be described as CSR or philanthropy or otherwise. But this doesn’t matter. They are still reflective of our foundation and still result in some great non-financial outcomes which should be talked about, communicated and celebrated.
Our Annual Review, incorporating shared value terminology for the first time, was released in September.
This article was originally published on the Shared Value Initiative Community.
Image Credits: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank