2011 CSR Awards: Annual Report


Winner: Southwest Airlines Company - Southwest Airlines One Report


Focusing on the Southwest Airlines triple bottom line—performance, people and planet—the Southwest One Report was a first for the company, combining its 2009 financial performance and updated content from its 2008 Southwest Cares report. Why the sustainability/financial performance combination?

The company recognized a growing interest in sustainability from its shareholders, and there was already overlap in effort and content with two separate reports. In addition, Southwest president and CEO Gary Kelly was looking for a way to make the reporting process more efficient, with a consolidation of the many voices that represent Southwest. To Kelly, one destination that told the entire Southwest story was the best strategy.

Another differentiator from Southwest annual reports of the past was the company’s adherence to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the internationally recognized standard of sustainability reporting. The Southwest communications team researched the standard comprehensively and made sure it disclosed everything necessary to provide validation of its sustainability efforts. While a four-page printed preview was sent to shareholders, the finished 47-page report was published only online in the Southwest Cares section of the Southwest Web site. The results? An outside consultant verified that the Southwest One Report provided a balanced view of the company’s sustainability efforts while adhering to GRI guidelines. In addition, the Harvard School of Business chose Southwest Airlines for its first-ever case study on an integrated report.  —Scott Van Camp

Honorable Mentions:

The Lifetime Healthcare Companies – “What We Heard, What We Did”: A three-part format took advantage of timely, on-demand printing, meaning less waste and lower production costs.

United States Postal Service – 2009 Sustainability Report: Operationally focused report featured narratives on each USPS functional area—calling out new programs and more sustainable ways of doing business.


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