2023 annual report –
Seize your opportunity

As of next year, when the publication of a report on non-financial matters becomes mandatory, listed companies will have to think even more carefully about the content of their annual report. While this will be a challenge, it will also be an opportunity to capitalise even more on the impact of the mandatory annual report and to skilfully craft a coherent narrative. What does this mean in concrete terms? Linkgroup partner Othmar Krienbühl gives an insight in this interview.

So the annual report will have to meet more stringent requirements. It’s important to know what your obligations are and to deal with the challenges early on so that you can take advantage of the opportunities and make optimum use of your resources. This year already you will have to collect and process the relevant information and prepare for conceptual implementation. To help make things clearer for you, he is a brief overview of what you should be bearing in mind:

1. Obligations

  • You must meet the regulatory requirements
  • You must procure, prepare, evaluate and publish non-financial information
  • In 2024, you will for the first time have to publish a report on non-financial matters for the 2023 business year (in accordance with Article 964a et seq. of the Swiss Code of Obligations)
  • You will have to publish a climate report as part of the report on non-financial matters
  • The report on non-financial matters will have to be approved by the board of directors and then by the annual general meeting (for the first time in 2024

2. Challenges

  • You have to be able to deal competently with constantly growing complexity
  • You have to meet the growing expectations of shareholders whose priorities in some cases diverge
  • You will have to embed the report on non-financial matters in your general reporting (annual report, semiannual report, sustainability report, etc.)
  • Procuring, preparing, evaluating and publishing non-financial information will require effort and expense
  • Specific know-how will be required when it comes to implementation
  • You may not have sufficient personnel resources

“Gathering key non-financial figures poses great challenges for many companies. Integration into existing processes is key to meeting these challenges.”

Nathalie Benkert
Amstein + Walthert

3. Opportunities

  • By adopting a strategic and conceptual approach (spanning multiple years) you can optimise the balance of costs and benefits of your reporting
  • It’s a chance to hone your corporate strategy and consolidate your corporate culture
  • You can raise the profile of the company and its exponents among the relevant stakeholders (e.g. assessment by the financial and sustainability community, attractiveness as an employer, image among consumers and the general public)
  • Working in a team with external professionals makes producing the report less of a burden and more fun

“Despite the focus on ESG issues, the ‘classic’ non-financials such as customer and employee satisfaction shouldn’t be neglected. These are still some of the most important prerequisites for business success.”

Walter Steiner
Steiner Kommunikationsberatung

4. How well suited is your existing annual report to achieving an optimum overall impact?

We will be happy to analyse your annual report and sustainability communications free of charge. We will focus on the strengths and weaknesses as the basis for recommended actions in terms of the concept, content and implementation. We will be happy to present our findings and initial recommendations to you in a personal meeting.

5. Swiss Annual Report Rating

The Swiss Annual Report Rating 2022 shows how the targeted use of resources bears fruit. Linkgroup customers are prominently represented in the rankings of the award-winning companies. Sika, for example, earned first place in the overall ranking and first place for value reporting. Linkgroup also contributed to Holcim’s second place in the overall ranking. Our customers Phoenix Mecano and Jungfraubahn Holding were the two biggest climbers of the year in the design rating. Our business partners Phoenix Mecano, Valiant and Sika took the top three places in the text category.


Sustainability Reporting & Corporate Social Responsibility

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