Corporate Responsibility- October 31, 2022
Bring it to life: Writing a Non-financial report
At a global company that operates in over 70 countries there are often many terms and reports mentioned on a daily basis. It can be hard to keep track. One such report that is mentioned a lot is the Non-financial Report (NFR) which Delivery Hero publishes on a yearly basis. But what is a Non-financial Report exactly and how does it function?
We sat down with Carmen Loesche, Digney Eisner, and Rahsi Shafana of the Corporate Social Responsibility team at Delivery Hero to find out more about what the Non-financial Report is and why it is so important.
What is it?
Non-financial information is often defined as Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) information. For certain companies (usually public enterprises with a high number of employees and turnover), it is mandatory to publish a non-financial report on an annual basis. While the regulations might differ between countries and regions, the goal remains the same: Providing transparency for stakeholders about a company’s ESG related activities.
The non-financial reporting team sits within the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and Sustainability team at Delivery Hero. The team is responsible for creating the annual non-financial report, collection and coordination of non-financial data and disclosures, coordination of non-financial risk and materiality assessments as well as the external assurance that happens on the report every year. They are a team that is truly multi-functional as they work with teams across the Headquarters and around the world.
The Non-financial Report (NFR) is published on the Delivery Hero website along with the Annual Report, towards the end of Q1 every year (usually March or April).
The report is created in collaboration with the Annual Report project teams and has a separate section within it. This aligns our financial and non-financial information together and everything can easily be found for external stakeholders in one place.
Creating a report
Delivery Hero’s NFR falls under the German regulation and the company has to follow the respective requirements. The creation of a non-financial report entails many different steps and smaller and bigger tasks. It involves a lot of stakeholder engagement and collaboration, since input from various departments is required.
As a first step, one needs to define which topics should be covered in the NFR, the so-called ‘material topics’. At Delivery Hero, this is done via internal and external stakeholder surveys, which helps the team to define the impact that a topic has on the business operations and also the impact Delivery Hero has with its operation on the environment, society etc. Based on this, the ‘material’ and most important topics for Delivery Hero are defined.
As a next step the team reaches out to internal stakeholders from different departments, who are responsible for the ‘material’ topics. they collect qualitative and quantitative data from them, such as information on specific programs, targets or achieved KPIs for the reporting year.
Once they have collected the data, they put everything into a flowing and summarizing text. They do this with the help of an experienced external agency. The text is reviewed by several stakeholders within the business.
The report is then assured by an external auditor. This means that a team of ESG experts looks at the drafted report and verifies through requesting internal evidence for the information within the report, if everything is correct and accurate. Once everything is confirmed, the report is ready to be published.
The future of the report
Stakeholders’ interest and awareness for ESG topics are increasing rapidly and with Delivery Hero being a publicly traded company, it is important to Delivery hero that it provides a transparent and accurate non-financial information for its stakeholders. By reporting on ESG topics annually, the team are able to provide insights on the development and progress of the global engagements and projects.
While financial reporting has been standardized around the world for many years, non-financial reporting has not had a globally enforceable set of sustainability standards followed by global organizations around the world yet. Most initiatives and standards in use are primarily voluntary and often leave room for different interpretations. This has caused a lot of confusion for companies and readers to be able to navigate through a spectrum of different reporting standards and formats. However, there has been a lot of change throughout the past years in the non-financial reporting space and it is exciting to see where it will go in the future.
It is clear that non-financial reporting will become more and more important in the future. There is a rising interest in published reports and in many regions around the world, reporting standards and regulations will be strengthened and require companies to disclose more details on their ESG practices and performance. Going forward, non-financial reports will become a normal and widely accepted business practice for companies to adopt. Also, standard reporting, like the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) or the EU Taxonomy will make it possible for stakeholders to compare companies regarding their ESG performance among each other but also on an annual basis with more consistent and accurate data..
Non-financial reporting is at a very exciting period of time as there are many regulatory changes that are occurring at an EU level and the rest of the world. Delivery Hero’s CSR team is excited and interested to see how the non-financial reporting landscape evolves going forward.