Purpose - The framework of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is principles-based and does not provide specific key performance indicators (KPIs) for integrated thinking and reporting. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to propose KPIs for integrated reporting which decipher a firm's sustainability through empirical analysis. Design/methodology/approach - As a proxy of firms' sustainability, the authors focus on firms that have survived for more than 100 years and that have already achieved sustainability, and analyze these firms to reveal the financial features that distinguish sustainable firms from the other firms. Findings - The study found two distinguishing facts: the value added that is distributed to stakeholders other than shareholders is significantly larger, and the stability of profitability and the profitability itself are significantly higher in sustainable firms. Practical implications - The study proposes a value-added distribution and the stability of profitability as sustainability KPIs for integrated reporting. Originality/value - First, this study provides the first evidence that value added distribution and the stability of profitability distinguish a firm's sustainability. Second, it provides a new perspective in the search for sustainability KPIs. Third, as the empirical data consist of all listed firms in 136 countries, the results should be robust and general.
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