Writing Airbus’s reports for more than a decade
When Airbus Group (then EADS) was first formed through merger in the early 2000s, they needed an annual report to tell the story of businesses still in early stages of integration. As the requirements of stakeholders progressed, they then wished to add a CSR report to the suite of reporting literature from 2009.
Engineers often do not see the point in reporting and Airbus Group was no exception. Our first challenge – with both the annual and CSR reports – was to persuade people internally to provide information. In the early days of the annual report, the investor relations team wanted to see measureable improvements each year. When starting the CSR report, the Corporate Secretary’s team needed help not only with writing but also defining sustainability messaging – a difficult task for Europe’s largest aerospace and defence group. In 2014, the Group moved a step towards integrated reporting, developing common narratives in the annual and CSR reports.
Over the years, we have contributed to a steady improvement in reporting. The 2004 annual report, the first we wrote, ranked higher than ever before in Germany’s Manager magazine. Subsequent annual and CSR reports won International ARC awards. And, in 2014, common messaging in the two reports showed the Group’s progress in creating value both during the year and in the longer term.