Committing deeply to sustainability

Fluor Corporation, one of the world’s most admired engineering and construction companies, had made tremendous strides in implementing sustainability policies and practices in its own operations and on client projects. The company advanced a “triple bottom line” approach that placed sustainability at the heart of three interconnected goals: economic growth, social progress and environmental stewardship. As a United Nations Global Compact signatory, Fluor subscribed to 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption — further evidence of its staunch commitment to sustainability. Fluor chronicled this progress annually and needed help keeping pace with current reporting trends.

Sharpening the story

We focused on three areas to improve the clarity, usability and visual impact of Fluor’s sustainability report: adding emphasis, taming complexity and progressive indexing.

The first, adding emphasis, involved highlighting case studies of three projects that demonstrated global sustainability in action. We used a magazine-style format to showcase these examples in an engaging narrative supported by relevant imagery and pull quotes.

The second, taming complexity, focused on communicating multifaceted sustainability issues in a more comprehensible way. Previous reports dutifully explicated these issues; however, the meaning was lost in the detail, and conventional imagery did little to clarify them. Instead, we distilled important data into digestible, high-impact information graphics that simplified complex issues and brought the key take-aways to life.

The third, progressive indexing, sought to improve usability with regard to identifying the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) performance indicators used in the report. We displayed this information in two ways — conventionally as an index at the back and progressively as notations highlighted throughout the narrative. This gave readers with diverse preferences an easy way to find what they wanted at the pace they chose.

Keeping pace over time

Fluor’s sustainability report was a highly readable overview of the company’s performance that reflected the growing rigor and sophistication of current reporting and set the stage for further evolution. In support of Fluor’s ongoing efforts to advance sustainability and its effective reporting, we encouraged the company to take a longer view of key issues and reframe how it addressed them through such practices as goal setting — a process started with its latest report. Doing so would allow Fluor to capture incremental progress and demonstrate the company’s performance over time, based on metrics tailored to its unique organization.

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