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Integrated Thinking

What is the business case for Integrated Thinking?

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In 2013, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) published the Integrated Reporting  Framework which intended to go beyond existing sustainability reporting by integrating financial, environmental and social metrics to report comprehensively on how value is generated over the short, medium and long term. The Framework refers explicitly to integrated thinking and the importance of “embedding” integrated thinking in “mainstream business practice in the public and private sectors” to promote financial stability and sustainable development. Whilst providers of financial capital play a critical role in the broader integrated thinking framework, the legitimate needs of a broader group of stakeholders must be considered.



The Integrated reporting Framework was revised in January 2021 (download the revised framework here), amending the definition of integrated thinking. It clarified the point that integrated thinking considers not only the creation, but also the preservation and erosion of value.



Integrated thinking involves a holistic, multi-capital approach to decision-making and operations to promote value creation and sustainability (download the IFRS Integrated Thinking Principles here).

Key features include:

  1. Responding to stakeholders’ legitimate needs and interests,
  2. Evaluating, managing and capitalising on risks and opportunities in the external environment,
  3. Assessing the interdependencies amongst activities and capitals together with the resulting trade-offs and outcomes and (4) a multi-timeframe analysis of activities, performance and outcomes.



This text is to be considered to have been quoted from the following sources: 

Intended audience

  • Governing body and executive committee members;
  • Accounting authorities;
  • Public administrators;
  • Economic practitioners and investors;
  • Sustainability officers;
  • Academics and researchers
  • Executive education practitioners

What you will learn

forewarned is forearmed

This recording is in tended to equip viewers with the abilities to explain the concept and principles of integrated thinking, and understand the business case for embedding integrated thinking in their organisation.

Watch this recording to learn how to:

  • Explain the concept and principles of integrated thinking, and
  • Understand the business case for embedding integrated thinking in your organisation.

Supplementary materials

Kindly sponsored by:

Trialogue, in partnership with Thompson Harrison, have developed a methodology to assess purpose-led integrated thinking across five core areas. The assessment process enables companies to quickly identify where their organisation is best in class, uncover areas of risk, and identify opportunities, so that they can target resources and interventions to make the biggest impact.

Expert Guests

Alex Hetherington

Sustainability strategist | ESG investor |Climate scenario analyst
TCFD reporter | Third Line Group | Carbon Calculated | TonneZero

Member of the Advisory Committee

Alex Hetherington is a seasoned corporate sustainability professional with 25-years’ experience in carbon accounting, climate scenario analysis and investor insight into market-related climate risks and opportunities. He has worked with clients in Africa, USA, UK, Europe, Middle East and Australia.


Originally trained as a journalist, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Politics from the University of Cape Town (1993), Alex took a MSc in Environmental Management from Imperial College, London (2004), and recently completed a CPA in Sustainable Finance and Investment from Columbia University in the city of New York (2021).

Having established himself as an early pioneer in corporate sustainability strategy, Alex co-founded Carbon
Calculated, a carbon management and climate change consultancy, which has worked with over thirty companies and brands across multiple geographies. He currently consults on investor understanding of climate risk and response.

Jeremy Osborn

Member of the Technical Committee

Dr Jeremy Osborn FCMA, CGMA, CPA (Aust.) is AICPA & CIMA’s Global Head of Sustainability, supporting the accountancy profession through AICPA & CIMA’s members, students and engaged professionals in 196 countries and territories to embed sustainability into their organizations and then measure and communicate the value this is creating for their investors and other stakeholders.


Before joining the Association, Jeremy worked for the Value Reporting Foundation (since consolidated into the IFRS Foundation) and the International Integrated Reporting Council, working with a wide variety of stakeholders and organizations to support the scaling and global adoption of sustainability accounting, integrated reporting and integrated thinking. Jeremy has also worked for EY, Accounting for Sustainability (founded by HM King Charles III), Accenture and Unilever, advising organizations across a wide range of sectors on how to integrate sustainability into their business model, operations and value chain, and then measure and communicate the multi-capital value which this creates.


Jeremy is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, holds a D.Phil. on the history of the East India Company and graduated with First Class honours in Modern History from Oxford University.

Jenna Moore

ESG & Sustainable Business Insights at CECP

Jenna leads Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP)’s ESG and sustainable business quantitative research and analysis and oversees a wide variety of projects including CECP’s ESG Company Snapshot, Long-Term Disclosure Assessment, and annual Investing in Society Report.


Jenna has over eight years of experience working with small- to large-cap companies on their ESG journeys. Prior to CECP, Jenna spent several years at The Conference Board departing as the Associate Director, Executive Programs, ESG where she led programming for the Sustainability, EHS, and Corporate Social Responsibility Councils. She also spent time on the World Economic Forum’s Consumer Industries team building multi-stakeholder coalitions to accelerate industry transformation towards more sustainable consumption models.


Jenna holds a B.A. in Political Science from Fordham University and an M.A. in International Relations from CUNY.

Nick Rockey

Managing Director of Trialogue

Nick has over 20 years of consulting and research experience across many market and industry sectors and plays a lead consulting role in the fields of sustainable business and CSI. As such, he has worked with a wide range of corporate clients, providing support for strategy development and implementation, stakeholder engagement and reporting.

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