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Integrated reporting at Jumbo

23/06/21

Make a real impact in five steps

With almost sevenhundred Jumbo supermarkets and over seventy La Place restaurants, around a hundred thousand employees, hundreds of suppliers and millions of customers, the Jumbo supermarket chain is situated right at the heart of society. That is also the only place that it can be situated to achieve long-term success. The family business, located in Veghel, is well aware of this: 'Our impact on the world around us is considerable', says Claire Trügg, responsible for corporate communication and sustainability at Jumbo. 'The family and the company are both committed to shouldering the responsibility that goes along with that.'

Rooted in the foundations

Until about three years ago, Jumbo organised efforts to improve its sustainability mainly on a project-by-project basis. But at a certain point the company realised that sustainability had to be rooted in its foundations if it was serious about having a positive social impact. 'That makes a big difference', says Marieke van Zoggel, CSR advisor at Jumbo. 'You can only make a real impact and change for the better if sustainability is embedded in your way of working, in your structure, your culture and your strategy.'

Strategy and reporting go hand in hand

It was Jumbo’s corporate communication and sustainability department that kicked off efforts to make sustainability part of the bigger picture. This was in late 2018. The department wanted the company to have a bigger impact and to communicate about that impact in more transparent and structured manner. The first step was to integrate what was then a separate sustainability report into the company’s annual report, and so the department turned to colleagues in Finance & Accounting. The questions they had were precisely what PwC’s Integrated Reporting framework was developed to answer. 'Reporting is not the end of the process, it’s no more and no less than a reflection of what a company is doing internally',  explains Femke Helgers, senior manager sustainability at PwC. 'Strategy and reporting go hand in hand, in other words. Integrated reporting demonstrates that ESG (environmental, social, governance) issues are of added value for the entire organisation because they are reflected at every level of the organisation – in strategy, in processes, in risks and in results.'

PwC's Integrated Reporting framework

1. Dialogue with the world beyond

The Integrated Reporting framework consists of five steps, the first of which is a dialogue with the world outside. 'We worked with Jumbo on identifying their stakeholders and what they believe Jumbo can do to be more sustainable. We also examined where Jumbo can make the greatest impact', says Femke Helgers. This materiality analysis resulted in twelve themes. They extend beyond such sustainability issues as animal welfare and working conditions in the supply chains to include affordable healthy products, for example. That means they offer an integrated view of sustainability.

2. Relationship themes and strategy

The next step is to analyse how each theme is related to the strategy. What ambitions does the organisation have for each theme? What does it need to do to achieve those ambitions? What risks does it run if it fails? How can it quantify what it does and what its impact is?

3. Managing a massive change process

Once these questions have been answered for each theme, step three is to design the internal processes so that they help the organisation actually achieve its ambitions. Crucially, the sustainability data and information must be of the same standard of quality and as easy to access as financial information. 'By following these steps, PwC gave us something to work with and made a massive change process manageable for us. The tools they provided helped us get started and deliver tangible results', says Claire Trügg. 'For example, we have professionalised our data management and our non-financial information has improved significantly in quality.'

4. Integrated dashboard

That puts down the building blocks for step four, creating an integrated dashboard that makes it possible to pursue the objectives for each theme comprehensively. 'The dashboard is now part of our financial reporting system, and that’s been a giant step forward for us', says Marieke van Zoggel. 'And the great thing is that this immediately generates feedback and new questions and ideas that allow us to keep improving.'

5. A balanced story

The fifth and final step is to integrate financial and non-financial reporting into the annual report. 'We were able to help Jumbo with this by providing existing integrated reporting templates and by helping them think about the structure, content, good benchmarks and visual representation. We also brought them up to speed on current trends in reporting and reviewed relevant laws and regulations', says Femke Helgers. 'The most important question for us is always: what do you want to achieve with your reporting? What’s more, we want to ensure that the report tells a balanced story, that it not only reports the positive impact but also sheds light on the dilemmas, the risks and the choices made.'

Sustainability integral part of way of working

So what has Jumbo accomplished since taking the first step towards integrated ESG reporting almost three years ago? 'Sustainability is now a priority. Deciding to pursue it through the integrated reporting route was a brilliant stroke', says Marieke van Zoggel. 'A retail company like Jumbo needs to focus on results, be able to adapt quickly and always have a clear idea of where it’s headed. The PwC framework is a great help because it unpacks complex matters and makes them easier to understand.'

'We’ve found it very valuable to be able to explain what sustainability means to Jumbo, in the broadest sense of the word', adds Claire Trügg. 'Sustainability is no longer a separate topic but an integral part of our strategy and our way of working. Everyone knows where we stand on all twelve themes, what our goals are, and what we still need to do to continue creating long-term value. So we can be much more transparent now in what we communicate to our stakeholders, for example on jumborapportage.com. That is what’s expected of us and you can see that it’s appreciated. And that’s extremely important to us.'

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Femke Helgers

Femke Helgers

Senior manager, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 016 21 34

Joukje Janssen

Joukje Janssen

Partner, Sustainability, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 378 26 45

Viviana Voorwald

Viviana Voorwald

Partner, ESG Lead PwC NL & PwC Europe, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 536 23 07

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