Designing an Inaugural Sustainability Report for Investment Firm

ESG & Sustainability Reports, Corporate Reporting

CIP sustainability report design example

OBATA Creates Inaugural Sustainability Report for a Financial Services Firm


Champlain Investment Partners


2021-2022 Sustainability Report


  • Reporting Strategy
  • Report Design
  • Interactive PDF
  • Infographics Design

Champlain Investment Partners turned to OBATA’s experienced team to design its first sustainability report

Creating an inaugural sustainability report can be a daunting task for most companies. That’s why Champlain Investment Partners selected OBATA to design and publish its inaugural sustainability report.

OBATA has led, designed, and published the first ESG or sustainability report for a number of national and global public and private companies. Our sustainability report design process has helped companies share the positive impacts of their sustainability efforts on employees, local communities, and the world. We recently produced our 50th report this summer.

Champlain’s Sustainability Story

Headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain is an asset management firm. They believe companies that are managed for long-term success naturally incorporate many Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations into their business model and planning.

  • Champlain established a Sustainability Committee in 2019 to ensure that they effectively develop and promote ESG policies and programs, including those related to diversity and inclusion.

  • Their goal is to be a responsible corporate role model and community leader.

The 2021-2022 inaugural report:

  • Aligns with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) framework, a leading sustainability reporting framework regarding environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) matters.

  • Offers detailed views on Champlain’s internal and external social initiatives.

  • Discusses its decision to pursue LEED certification for its office space, and the environmental impact of that decision. It also reviews its methodology and decision to pursue carbon credits and renewable credits.

  • Outlines its governance focus on enterprise risk management.

OBATA Successfully Guided Champlain Through the Reporting Design Process 

An effective and well-crafted report is essential for creating a solid foundation on which a company can continue its efforts to improve its environmental, social and governance practices, and measure its progress towards sustainability goals each year. Such a report can help a company track its progress, identify areas needing improvement, and make necessary changes to help it continue working toward its goals.

OBATA followed our 7‑Step ESG Reporting Process to help Champlain develop its inaugural report efficiently and effectively.

Champlain looked to OBATA to help guide them through the design process. We assisted the Champlain internal team in not only overseeing the process but also publishing their report in time for a critical milestone meeting.

The OBATA ESG team first helped Champlain develop a report outline, identifying content that captured the narratives and data behind the firm’s sustainability efforts. Once the report content was completed, we focused our efforts on design and bringing Champlain’s sustainability story to life.


Our Sustainability Report is outstanding! We can’t thank you enough for all the strategic guidance and creative work that you and the team provided over the past few months.

Champlain Investment Partners – Senior Associate, Director of Finance & Human Capital Management

Our Sustainability Report Design Process

The first step in designing a report for a new client is understanding their branding. During our onboarding process, we listened carefully and understood a key goal in designing Champlain’s first sustainability report was to stay true to its brand standards. Their primary audience was their partners and customers.

Before we started designing, we acquired a number of their brand assets, including logos, brand guidelines and images. Then we reviewed other branded communication assets such as their website and other published materials.

With OBATA’s decades of experience in branding, we understood our responsibility to interpret and adhere to their brand guidelines.

Champlain Investment Partners 2021 Sustainability Report section page design examples

We developed and presented a series of concepts that reflected Champlain’s brand. Core to its brand was the use of its corporate font and color scheme. The cover and divider pages focus on this core color scheme and brand imagery.

The design of the report is built on a grid system with a consistent typography hierarchy. This allowed us to incorporate a variety of content while providing a clear structure to each page.

Champlain’s report is thoughtfully laid out. It uses a mix of informative charts, eye-catching graphics, and attractive photography to illustrate key points and keep readers engaged.

Champlain Investment Partners 2021 Sustainability Report narrative page design examples

The Report Has Clear Structure and Navigation

The effectiveness of an interactive report is measured by how well you can navigate through the document. For the interior pages of the report, we created an intuitive global navigation system that followed the report’s clear structure.

The navigation bar, located at the top right corner of each page, was repeated throughout the report, highlighting in green the section currently engaged by the reader.

In addition, the table of contents was interactive. The combination of these two elements allowed users to quickly navigate to any section of the report.

Visualizing Data Is a Powerful Design Element to Telling Champlain’s Story

We then focused on making the data more understandable by interpreting and visualizing key metrics that Champlain aligns to the SASB framework.

This data visually came to life throughout the report as a series of charts and graphics highlighting key metrics tracked by Champlain including demographic data.

Champlain Investment Partners 2021 Sustainability Report Data Visualization

Utilizing photography from Champlain’s image library, our design team edited and then selected images that best fit the narrative story. OBATA’s photography experts enhanced image color and optimized image resolution as necessary.

Champlain Investment Partners 2021 Sustainability Report Photo Examples

The Published Report Showcased Champlain’s Sustainability Story

Champlain has published the report in the sustainability section of its website. The report was also shared with partners and customers.

The final report:

  • Was designed using a landscape format, aligning with computer displays and eliminating scrolling
  • Has a clear structure and navigation system
  • Uses Champlain’s attractive photography to illustrate key points and keep readers engaged
  • Incorporates more than a dozen custom-designed graphics including charts, infographics, and tables to amplify key metrics


The report has been so well received internally and we’re eager to share it with our broader audience. We’re looking forward to connecting with you for next year’s report!

Champlain Investment Partners – Senior Associate, Director of Finance & Human Capital Management