It’s impact report season, people, and we’re here with a roundup of stellar examples that provide actionable ideas to help you fashion a fantastic report of your own.
Yes, you’ll notice that many of these impact reports are from larger companies that are able to put more resources into them than you might be able to in your impact report. There’s still a good reason to have a look at them — they include inspirational ideas that anyone can use in their impact reporting regardless of the size of business. We’ve taken the time to go through each of them and selected executional nuggets that your own small business might use for your impact report.
Here we go — six inspiring impact reports across a range of industries that have something for everyone.
Always Be Selling! — MiiR
Are you using your impact report to build a following of fans all year round?
Miir’s a company that is driven by giving more and taking less. Its durable, design-forward hydration products, coffee cups, and other accessories get rave reviews. It does a strong job with its impact measurement and reporting. But what we’d really like to highlight here is the way MiiR uses its impact report to engage visitors to its web report. A pop-up box offers readers of its impact report a 15% discount on purchases if they sign up for the company’s texts, which not only creates potential sales but a consistent stream of communications about impact and new products. We’ve always been big fans of using impact reports to engage customers in your impact AND get them to follow along with your brand all year long. MiiR does this quite well — and so can you!
Making Your Report Work All Year Long — New Leaf Paper
What interesting ways can you use your impact report beyond publishing it to the web?
Benefit Corporation New Leaf Paper does a strong and succinct job communicating its impact in the company’s annual benefit report. It’s beautiful, which you might expect as a company that counts designers and advertising agencies as specifiers of its high-quality sustainable printing paper solutions.
We particularly love a couple of things about New Leaf Paper’s report; one comes across on its impact report, and the other you can’t see in its pages, whether they’re printed or digital.
The first is the tidy job New Leaf Paper does in communicating its impact – it’s not sparse by any means, but there’s no excess – paying heed to a reader’s limited attention span is always a big plus in our books.
The second thing we like, and which you can’t see, is the way New Leaf Paper uses the report – it’s a primary tool as part of their new-employee onboarding process, ingraining new hires in the company’s DNA and its values but, as important, communicating the way New Leaf Paper lives up to them by creating positive impact.
Customer Engagement and Celebration — Cotopaxi
Can you work with partners to quantify the people or places your contributions have affected?
We always look forward to Cotopaxi’s impact report, not just because impact creation is at the core of their being, but also because they’re just as keen about measuring and reporting their impact.
Three things we especially liked about this year’s impact report. Their messaging, which gives credit to their customers for helping the company create its impact. “Find out how you helped us Do Good last year.” They also do a good job of quantifying their humanizing impacts — instead of simply charting dollars donated, they take it to the real deal: number of people assisted, directly and indirectly. Lastly, they publish two versions of the report — a primary web version that keep it brief with highlights — and a separate, 49-page document that allows readers who are really interested to dig into all the data as deeply as they want.
The Art of Impact – Tony‘s Chocolonely
Are you using an artful approach to telling the story of your impact?
The Dutch chocolatier understands how delicious design and artful integration of technology can accomplish what an abundance of too many words never will — so we’ll keep this short and let you discover the joy of their impact for yourself.
Tony’s has some experience with impact reports, as this year’s edition is its tenth. Here’s are the tasty tidbits we think anyone can benefit from.
This impact report home page proves that a simple animation can go a long way. Their “Year at a Glance” is conveyed entirely as an infographic — this could probably constitute the entire impact without any other adornment. We love the way navigation is recognizably organized like a book — in chapters. And there’s a fun video from Henk Jan, the Chief Chocolate Officer, that makes you want to spend time with a stakeholders’ letter. (You have the option of reading it if you like.) While it’s 4+ minutes long, you could probably dip your toes into a video of this sort for a minute or less. Go ahead and go for it!
DEI Impact — Creature Comforts Brewing Company
Are you shining a light on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?
Judging by this year’s impact report, Creature Comforts Brewing Company looks like it’s been brewing up impact reports forever — yet this year’s was their first ever. Big kudos to this Athens, Georgia, craft brewer for doing a beautiful job of presenting their impact and detailed job documenting it. Of note, this Certified B Corp does one of the better jobs we’ve seen on reporting DEI impact. Its emphasis on DEI begins at home, publicly stating the intention to have its workforce better reflect the industry and community over time. It charts the current demographic and gender identity complexion of its workers, which it segments by all-staff and executive team. The company also showcases examples of its DEI work in the community, along with two stated goals for 2023: to identify and contract with at least two businesses owned by individuals from underrepresented communities and launching a multi-month onsite residency program with Our Culture Brewing, a Black-owned brewery in Atlanta.
Looking Forward — Rivanna
Can Your Little Impact Report Take a Big Step into The Future?
Okay, we saved the smallest for last and admit we’re a little prejudiced when it comes to Rivanna — it was the first company to publish an impact report on our platform. Founder Crystal Mario and her team show what a small company can accomplish in their impact report. One thing that stands out is that they aren’t just looking at the rear-view mirror in reporting their impact. In their impact report, they plant a stake in the ground by setting and communicating a big forward-looking goal for their small-company impact. While acknowledging they have a long way to go, in their Rivanna sets a goal for being Net Zero in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 — just three years from now. It’s a great way to show stakeholders where you’d like them to help you go. We can’t wait to see how Rivanna fares in regards their ambition in subsequent years’ reporting.