Aliaxis 2020 online annual report.
While many businesses have been looking at the ‘digital first’ concept within reporting – especially during Covid, which has accelerated the trend, Aliaxis’s objective was to adopt this thinking fully and produce an online only annual report for 2020. The aim was to reach a wider audience and raise their profile. Accessibility was also important as was cohesiveness, consistency and representing a connected business as they are disparate and spread across the globe with sub-brands such as Alutec, Multikwik and Vinidex.
The year was one of change and with the arrival of a new CEO – the challenge was to communicate their ambition and focus on the future, rather than strategy or the business model. They did not want to link the existing strategy to the new CEO and so instead discussed the context, their response to the pandemic and preparing for growth.
Last but by no means least, they needed to communicate their next steps in sustainability and communicate how they are making a positive difference. This is closely linked to their culture, going above and beyond for their customers and their values as an organisation.
The big idea – ‘what matters’, was designed to hone content to refocus on the business, making sure they were well positioned. The business itself was exempt from lockdown due to the nature of their work, e.g. products are for sanitation and therefore their employees were key workers. Therefore, the story they had to tell was of supporting people, communities, and society as well as their great products. To address how their impact on society was positive, case studies were used. For example, how they have built nightingale hospitals.
The Aliaxis report goes above and beyond to report like a listed business, but this is not a UK standard annual report. They wanted to create something which communicated the foundations of their business and focused on how they generate profitable growth in the long term.
‘Aliaxis at a glance’ clearly explains the fundamental information, while the introduction, split into five colour keyed segments: highlights; message to shareholders; preparing for growth; going the extra mile for customers; taking the next step in sustainability and performance. This colour key is then consistently used in the report for more detail on each section.
Long-term value creation is communicated in many ways including the new CEO recognising that performance was good and explaining how they are creating it and linking it to wider global mega trends. Interestingly, Aliaxis is in an industry which has an impact on water scarcity – so they are needed long term, and this was communicated clearly.
Early analytics reflect the positive feedback which stakeholders have already shared. Many were impressed at the clarity, content and communication of the annual report online and understood how much easier the information was to access.
Key developments include the improved sustainability section, the design, UX, content and structure and importantly, the communication of their future focus. Stakeholders also felt communications were much more aligned – and the annual report was a strong conduit.
Lars Vervoort, Global Corporate Communications Manager – Aliaxis