About the Crystal Prize

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy awards the Crystal Prize in conjunction with the Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBA). This prize is awarded to the company that has the best CSR reporting in view of the Transparency Benchmark.

The Crystal Prize aims to be the main prize and incentive for CSR reporting and for increasing the professionalism of the quality as well as the transparency of CSR reporting within the Netherlands.

2018 Crystal Prize and beyond

The Crystal Prize will continue to be an annual prize. If the Transparency Benchmark is awarded in the same year as the Crystal Prize, the latter will maintain its current approach with a panel of experts assessing the Top 20 and the Crystal jury choosing the winner from the Top 3. In these years, the most innovative report and the most improved organisation will also receive a prize. nIf the Transparency Benchmark is not awarded in the same year, the most transparent examples of a certain theme will be selected (see below). The objective is to boost the engagement and the reporting by organisations regarding certain themes, since their good example could be instructive to other companies.
In brief, the following procedure is used:

  • substantiated nomination by companies, accountants, NGOs and other experts;
  • assessment on the basis of the Participant Protocol;
  • selection by the panel of experts;
  • choice of a winner by the Crystal jury.

The following components will remain unchanged:

  • the assessment of CSR transparency (rather than performance);
  • the participants;
  • the publicly available information reviewed;
  • the panel of experts and the Crystal jury;
  • the collaboration on the Crystal Prize between the Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

2018 Crystal Prize theme: chain transparency

One of the basic principles of CSR is chain transparency, which is included in such directives as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Whereas many organisations report partly or fully transparent chains, others still struggle to achieve chain responsibility and transparency. The 2018 theme centres on the following question: what level of transparency do organisations provide on the chains in which they are engaged, on the potential risks for the company, and on the direct and indirect risks for people, the environment and natural capital?
This question relates to a number of important aspects:

  • Connectivity – how do organisations link up the knowledge of the chain and their impact with their vision, strategy, policy, KPIs and results?
  • Materiality and stakeholder engagement – how do organisations involve shareholders and stakeholders in materiality considerations? Do organisations provide clarity on the potential interests which do or do not have a voice in the stakeholder dialogue; for example, with regard to interests further upstream in the chain within countries which have insufficient legislation and/or enforcement in place (human rights, natural capital, animal welfare)? Do organisations scrutinise stakeholders' opinions, accounting for the fact that they could be biased or insufficiently knowledgeable regarding certain themes?
  • Self-learning capability – how do organisations learn from their mistakes? Do they welcome criticism and take responsibility when faced with problems, or do they issue a defensive or belated reaction only after the story has gone public? Does management respond to incidents or rather to the underlying system/organisation that failed to prevent the incident?

The panel of experts and the jury choose a winner from the organisations nominated on the basis of this theme.

This prize is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBA).