Winners 2016

Best annual report – private sector organisation

Conscious commercialism in action
The Crown Estate

The Crown Estate is a unique organisation. It is a private sector organisation, yet has no shareholders. Its annual report is, by law, addressed to Her Majesty the Queen, while all its profits are delivered to HM Treasury for the benefit of the nation. Embarking on its fourth integrated annual report, the Crown Estate wanted to produce the most approachable and transparent yet. It wanted to go further towards measuring its total contribution – economically, socially and environmentally.

Sub-titling the report Conscious commercialism in action, the Crown Estate reduced its strategic objectives from six to four. In doing so, the organisation is able to produce a more concise appraisal of its progress over the year.

Using clear images, graphics and a clean layout, the report is designed to help readers understand the business model and how all operations interact. Case studies are scattered throughout to bring the report’s theme to life.

For example, it showcases St James’s Market, a £400 million development in the West End of London which will house shops, restaurants and offices. An ‘environmental’ icon highlights the fact that 93 per cent of the 80,329 tonnes of waste generated by the construction was diverted from landfill.

Many of the ‘icon’ stories were translated into messages on social media; impressions on Twitter reached 28,347 in the week the report was published.

The report is written with a view that its content can be shared in an online version. Its publication also marks the announcement of the Crown Estate’s profitability. This year the organisation produced regional press releases to accompany its release, generating around 160 news items.

The judges loved its bold and comprehensive approach to reporting. They viewed the integrated report as a model of its time.