Strategic Comms Awards

Best annual report 2021

The more we keep exploring, the more we'll achieve
Anglian Water
Agency: Emperor

Working together for the first time, Anglian Water and agency Emperor wanted to bring out the water company’s purpose, values and strategy while tracking their progress in a compelling integrated annual report.

Recognising that the narrative structure would be key to readability and clarity, it was also used to highlight what drives the company. Starting off by laying out its corporate purpose – to bring environmental and social prosperity to the region we serve through our commitment to love every drop, it discusses how this has been enshrined throughout the business and the two-way social contract Anglian Water now has with its customers.

The report articulates Anglian Water’s mission statement – water is our businessWe handle with care and we don’t cost the earth – and its values, and then sets these out against its strategic 25-year goals, its five year business plan and its stakeholders, which it defines as:

  • Our environment and the planet
  • Our customers and communities
  • Our people and partners
  • Shareholders
  • Investors, banks and ratings agencies
  • Regulators
  • National and local government

By structuring the report around its stakeholders, Anglian Water was able to explain how it engages with each group and highlight key areas on which it had engaged over the year. This easy-to-follow section also supported Anglian Water’s delivery of its S172 report and was in line with its commitment in its new Articles of Association to be clear in its corporate reporting, along with other corporate governance guidelines.

A creative thread runs through the report, reflecting Anglian Water’s brand identity, that states The more we keep exploring, the more we’ll achieve. For everyone, which ties into one of the water company’s values of ‘always exploring’ and also to its purpose. Hand drawn embellishments also add personality and clarity to imagery, such as an arrow through the o in the word purpose, and giant quote marks besides the faces of executives and their presentations.

There is a double page spread explaining how Anglian Water holds itself to account on sustainability and responsible business. It was an early adopter of TCFD reporting and is now in the top three per cent of 9,600 companies globally in only its second year of CPD reporting.