During FY2018 Mercury reviewed its approach to integrating sustainability. The starting point was a discussion around the need for a specific statement: something that conveyed simply and concisely our view of sustainability as an essential element of the way we operate, Our Direction.
The resulting statement (above) speaks of Energy Freedom, our mission, and also our vision of sustainability, not just for Mercury, but for New Zealand. Internally it is supported by five pillars: customer, people, commercial, partnerships and kaitiakitanga; and associated focus areas. Our statement signals clearly that we fully intend to build on our proud history for the next century and beyond.
"SUSTAINABILITY AT MERCURY IS ABOUT ENERGY FREEDOM, BUILT ON OUR FIVE PILLARS OF CUSTOMER, PEOPLE, COMMERCIAL, PARTNERSHIPS AND KAITIAKITANGA. OUR HISTORY GOES BACK ALMOST ONE HUNDRED YEARS AND WE INTEND TO BE HERE FOR AT LEAST A HUNDRED MORE.”
Mercury understands that integrating sustainability means taking an ultra long-term view which guides our thinking, our business planning and the way we operate on a day to day basis.
In FY2018 we took a step back, conducting a detailed review of past disclosures, included revisiting our stakeholders, their expectations of us and the things that they consider important. The result is a simplification of the language used to describe our five pillars and the refinement of associated focus areas.
The focus areas are a consolidation and rationalisation of the twenty-two elements of a materiality matrix included in our FY2017 annual report.
The executive then challenged themselves to consider the future and created statements, for each of the focus areas to succinctly describe what success will look like in 2028 if we have met stakeholder expectations. Theses ten-year forward statements continue to be worked on and through FY2019 will be shared and discussed more widely with our people and our stakeholders.
Mercury continues to integrate sustainable business practice, refining our approach and the language used, to enable transparent and easily understood disclosures. We think it important to clearly convey our views and intentions.
To ensure our future disclosures meet the expectations of shareholders and investors we mapped our pillars and focus areas against the International Integrated Reporting Framework . The requires organisations to reflect on six capitals that are essential for value creation. The capitals: natural, social and relational, manufactured, intellectual, human and financial, also need to be considered from the perspective of minimising future risks to the business or “value destruction”.
The process resulted in Mercury being able to map a close correlation between our focus areas and the six capitals. It also confirms we can continue to report and communicate our performance in a language that is already very familiar to our internal and external stakeholders.
As a first step the scorecard is being used to review all FY2019 to FY2023 business unit plans and create a rolled-up group plan.
The scorecard will: inform and guide the internal business planning process; provide a consistent approach to shorter term, one and three-year planning cycles; enable Mercury to continue to embrace, and further integrate, sustainability.
As a first step the scorecard is being used to review all FY19 to FY23 business unit plans and create a rolled-up group plan.
The first step was to take our pillars and focus areas and create a sustainability scorecard. The scorecard: informs and guides the internal business planning process; provides a consistent approach to shorter term, one and three-year planning cycles and enables Mercury to continue to embrace, and further integrate, sustainability.
We have already started to engage our people on integrating sustainability with specific workshops and presentations to enterprise and business leaders, supported by internal communications. They are therefore directly involved in looking at existing and potentially new key performance indicators (KPIs), measures of success and targets that Mercury can use to measure its performance.
This annual report is another example of a channel to communicate our intentions and inform and educate our stakeholders, including our owners, and we welcome any feedback you may have.
We have included the symbols that represent our five pillars throughout this report to reflect the integrated thinking now underway.
We will continue to develop our use of the integrated reporting framework and other frameworks such as GRI and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure our disclosures reflect global standards.
Taking this comprehensive approach to integrating sustainability reduces business risks, identifies potential opportunities and guides engagement with all our stakeholders. We will continue to review and report openly and honestly on our performance on a regular basis to ensure the utmost transparency and we look forward to sharing our progress with you.