Instructions for using the Annual Reporting Tool


Step 1: Create additional users if required

If you are logged in as an administrator, you will be able to add new users to access your organisation’s Annual Reporting Tool. This feature allows other members of your team to complete different sections of the Annual Reporting Tool. Manage users via Administration >> Manage users.

Step 2: Review and familiarise

Before starting the Annual Reporting Tool, please click on the Information tab and read through the Framework and Criteria and Scoring sections, at minimum. It is essential that you are familiar with the structure of the Annual Reporting Tool, criteria and scoring before starting your annual report.

Step 3: Complete your annual report

Begin the Annual Reporting Tool by clicking on Reporting >> Setup Annual Report. This will ask for your organisation’s consent to collect and store your information, and verify your organisation’s details.

At this stage you will also be required to set your baseline metric; please select this baseline metric carefully. Should you need to amend this baseline metric, you are able to do so via Administration >> Change Baseline Metric. If you change your baseline metric, it is important to note that responses to any previously answered questions that refer to the baseline metric will be deleted.

Once you have set up your annual reporting, you will be able to complete your 2018 annual report. This can be accessed by going to Reporting >> Your Annual Report. The full Packaging Sustainability Framework table is provided, allowing you to work through the criteria in any order you wish.

Note:  Clicking on Back, Next or Save buttons will save your progress. Clicking on the Back button will take you to the previous criteria, clicking on Next will take you to the next criteria, while Save will keep you on the same criteria.

Step 4: Finalise and submit annual report

Once all the core criteria, and your chosen recommended criteria have been completed, only an administrator user will be able to submit your organisation’s annual report. Please note that you will be asked to indicate the name and position details of the executive level delegate that has approved the content of your report to complete the submission.

Please ensure that you have thoroughly reviewed your responses prior to submission. Once you have submitted your organisation’s annual report, you will not be able to make any further changes to your responses.

Following your annual report submission, a Performance Summary will appear under the Results >> Your Performance.

Step 5: Review your results

Following your annual report submission, a summary of your organisations performance will appear under the Results menu tab. Summary information on your organisations performance will be made available here. From the Results menu item, you will also be able to download a copy of your final reports via Results >> Your Reports.  The performance summary can be used by members in the preparation of their Action Plan.

Step 6: Prepare and submit action plan

Your action plan can be accessed from the left hand menu via Action Plan>>Your Action Plan The Action Plan form has been created to simplify the Action Plan process and allow members to determine what elements of their 2018 APCO Annual Report they would like to share. The end result of this process will be a public facing 2018 Annual Report and Action Plan document that will be available on the APCO website. A sample template of this document can be found here.

The process for completing the APCO Annual Report and Action Plan will be as follows:

  1. Select your action plan period.
    You may choose to set a one, two or three year action plan
  2. Select a commitment level for each criteria. 
    Results from your most recent annual report will be prefilled for your reference, including existing levels and next level recommendations.
    N.B For Conditional criteria: Please select either your existing level or higher. For Additive: Please recommit to your existing achievements and at least one additional commitment.
    Core criteria have a minimum commitment threshold. 
    If a level below your existing level is chosen a pop-up window will be presented and your selection will default to your existing level. If you would like to change your existing level please get in touch with member services: or phone (02) 8381 3700.
  3. Select your annual report responses to include in the public facing document.
    You may choose which of the following elements of your  2018 APCO Annual Report to include in  your public facing Annual Report and Action Plan:
    – Targets (taken from your responses in Criteria 1.1)
    – Free Form responses
    – Case studies
  4. Obtain internal approval and click submit.

For further support, watch the APCO Annual Reporting Tutorial video.

Additional Hints

Green question mark icon: These icons appear throughout the Reporting Tool to assist users by providing additional detail and hints on how to respond to a particular question or section. Hover your cursor over this icon to read these helpful hints before attempting to provide your answers. If you require further information than detailed in the hint, please see the Information >> Framework section.

Accuracy levels: When you are asked to enter data there will be a field provided for indicating the quality of the data that you are entering. The options for data accuracy are: low, medium, or high.

Saving your answers: There is no-auto save function. Be sure to press the Save button at the bottom of your screen before moving on to the next section. You may also save your responses by clicking Back or Next.

Expanding evidence boxes: You can expand the evidence boxes by click and dragging on the bottom right hand corner of the box. You can also expand the boxes in the Free Form section. This function is available for most Internet browsers. If this function appears to be unavailable, please try another browsers. Please also note that the text boxes have word limits. If you are cutting and pasting text into those boxes, please be aware that if it is over the word limit, the additional text will not appear.

Multiple users accessing the annual report: Multiple users can access the reporting section of the Annual Reporting Tool as the same time, however, APCO strongly encourages that no more than one user is within a single criteria at the same time, as this will result in loss of data input.

Webpage timing out: The Annual Reporting Tool will automatically log you out after 6 hours, and will not save your data automatically. Please ensure that you continually save any information put into the Reporting Tool to ensure that no information is lost.

Providing Evidence

Most questions require a statement about the type of evidence that you can provide to support your answer. This can be input as a description of the evidence you have or the name of your internal company document/file location. Indicting evidence is not only good practice but can help you to be audit ready and provide records for future reporting, ensuring that you know what internal data sets are being referencing from year to year.The character limit for evidence boxes is 750 characters, and is intended for a brief reference to evidence only.

Please note that information provided in this section will not impact the score of your annual report.

Different Reports

There will be three reports produced by the Annual Reporting Tool following submission:

  1. Performance Summary: An internal report designed to present an overview of your organisation’s performance against the reporting criteria, and give broad level recommendations for improvement.You may download a sample template here.
  2. Annual Report and Action Plan: A public facing document combining a summary of performance, targets and free form responses, as well as your action plan committed performance levels moving forward. You may download a sample template here.
  3. Benchmarking Report: A tailored report that will compare your organisation’s performance against other APCO Members, including those in the same industry sector.