If you run a business with purpose, an Impact Report is likely in your future. Once the sole realm of non-profits, mission-driven businesses are now turning to Impact Reports to tell the whole story of their positive environmental, societal and economic impacts.
An effective Impact Report requires collecting the right data, organizing a logical narrative and presenting those stories and data points in an engaging style — check out these five examples of outstanding Impact Reports to get inspired.
“At a time when our political system has failed to deliver for our planet, it’s up to businesses like ours to create positive change.”
Patagonia, one of the leading brands of outdoor clothing for silent sports like hiking, climbing and skiing, has had a focus on sustainability and political activism since its formation in 1973.
The firm’s annual Environmental + Social Initiatives report, called ‘The Cleanest Line’, delivers its message in a magazine-style format, with plenty of rich photography, infographics and in-depth articles. Topics include their B-corp score and their ‘Worn Wear’ program to resell, repair and recycle old clothing. The Cleanest Line is available as a digital mag and as a print piece in Patagonia stores.
Also check out an example of their Annual Benefit Corp Report for more Impact Report inspiration.
Get inspired — View the Patagonia Impact Report
“We believe that tourism can be the greatest method of wealth distribution in the world, and we’re out to prove it.”
The Planettera Foundation, based in Canada, helps develop sustainable, community-based tourism programs across the globe, with a focus on small businesses supporting women, youth, and Indigenous communities.
The 2017 Planettera Impact Report takes a dive into the work of the foundation, with colorful photography that would be at home in an issue of National Geographic, as well as custom illustration and infographics.
Get inspired — View the Planettera Impact Report
“Beer needs you, please join us”
New Belgium have earned themselves a reputation as one of the most eco-friendly, socially responsible breweries in the US. They were the first B-corp brewery and are continually tweaking their operations to reduce their environmental impact.
Being a sustainable brewery isn’t quite enough for New Belgium either, as their “beer needs you, please join us” motto implies, they freely share data and details on their triple-bottom-line focus to encourage other businesses to follow their lead.
If eco-friendly, ethically produced beer that still makes a profit isn’t inspiring enough for you, take a peek at their simple, two-page Impact Report.
Get inspired — View the New Belgium Impact Report
“Ideo improves the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities through design”
Ideo.org is the foundation arm of design firm IDEO, and they’ve made it their mission to use the power of design to make a dent in global poverty.
Their projects have included designing new sanitary systems in Ghana; designing apps to improve financial literacy for teens and designing low cost sensors to help Burmese farmers improve crop yields.
As you might expect from a design firm, their annual Impact Report is packed full of outstanding design too. Social enterprise stories are paired with custom illustration and infographics and bite-size chunks of copy for easy reading.
Get inspired — View the IDEO Impact Report
“With our new company vision “One Planet. One Health”, we carry forward our mission to “bring health through food to as many people as possible” and our dual project for business success and social progress.”
Danone North America recently became one of the largest ever B-corps —which considering Danone is the parent company for brands such as Evian, Activa, Silk and Volvic, and has over $6billion in annual revenue, is a pretty big deal.
Danone’s environmental initiatives include an effort to reach 100% circular packaging and projects with farmers to reduce the environmental impact of their dairy operations.
As a multi-billion dollar corporation Danone are also clearly able to sink a lot of resources into crafting an thorough Impact Report too. Take a wander around their annual report website for details of their social funds and environmental impacts, or download their magazine-style report.
Get inspired — View the Danone Impact Report