Ambatovy is a large nickel and cobalt mining operation in Madagascar, operational as of this year. Big Picture Communication delivered a contract to determine the scope, feasibility and value of sustainability reporting, starting during the construction phase of the project.

The project was 9 months in total, with the expectations of a report, a reporting system to be implemented, and a model to be handed to local employees to continue with.

We begin working on this project by exploring different options for sustainability reporting, looking at a range of standards, principles, and frameworks, as well as an analysis of other companies’ reporting. A preliminary construction-phase report was seen as a proactive step that would lead into regular annual reports.


  • Feasibility Study and Gap Analysis performed at the outset to determine best course of action and preliminary scope.
  • Project planning and background research for both reporting level of peers and requirements, as well as specifics of the Ambatovy project.
  • Materiality analysis and project parameters established in conjunction with IA, Env, CSR, and Comunications departments.
  • Report structure and internal data requirements set.
  • Document management system established, and preliminary data ownership rules determined.
  • Extensive interviews with each department head in the company for data and document collection, and introduction to sustainability reporting.
  • Analyzing existing documents and data for baseline information
  • Finalizing report structure and sections, based on GRI G3 Framework and available data
  • Writing and Editing: Transferring hundreds of pages of notes, policy, press releases, emails, and various communication formats into a cohesive 80+ page report.
  • Graphic design and layout – Rough template provided to local graphic design team, along with .Indd files and an editable Word doc. for internal editing before final version.
  • Strategy on data ownership, annual data collection schedule and reporting calendar.
  • Final conclusion report from Big Picture to Ambatovy Communications Dept. detailing the process thus far, a plan for moving forward, operational strategy points the report revealed, and areas to strengthen in the reporting capacity of the company.


For this first year report, we decided on a fairly basic, straightforward pdf document, available on the company’s website.

Big Picture Communication worked closely with the Ambatovy Communications department to implement a regularly-scheduled reporting system that can be taken over by Madagascar-based staff, as per the policy of maximizing local employment through the project.