Case Study

Séché Environnement: A collaborative approach to produce multilingual annual reports


The Client

Séché Environnement is a French industrial group specialized in waste management and in the treatment and recovery of all types of pollution. The company operates in 15 countries and employs around 4,000 people.

The Challenge

  • The URD annual report is growing in length every year, so its management is becoming more and more time-consuming

  • The number of contributors is growing with the intervention of internal (consolidation, CSR, legal) and external contributors: upstream and downstream graphic designers, translators, XBRL partners

  • Publication of the translated English version with a significant delay compared to the French version in previous year

As an international public company listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, Séché Environnement is required to draw up annual report, also known as a Universal Registration Document (URD), every financial year in due time.  

With a wide range of investors worldwide, they need to not only produce a URD in French, but also, in English. Therefore, and since going public in 1997, Séché partnered Acolad’s services for the translation of this document.

However, the ever-growing URD content requirements, and the need for additional contributors make compiling the report a more time-consuming project every year. 

Consequently, the time that it took between the French version’s completion (master language) and later translation and proofreading, was taking more than a month – much longer than ideal – and required other intermediaries such as graphic design agencies. 

Moreover, Séché understood that there was a need to be more efficient, be more collaborative and allow subject-matter experts to intervene more directly and work simultaneously on the document. 

The Solution

Aware that the existing partnership was not fulfilling all of Séché’s necessities, as their global content partner, Acolad identified an opportunity to simplify the process and provide both URD production and localization solutions to Séché.

Acolad used Pomdoc Pro (a Pomelo Paradigm technology) as the foundation for a customizable content collaboration tool that allows proofreading and translation to be done in parallel with content creation. This allows the progressive finalization of the document in the desirable layout/output in a short-time frame. 

To help Séché meet its regulatory requirements, Acolad customized the platform’s content templates to URD standards and to the brand’s visual identity, guidelines, and typography. 

Moreover, the platform is easily accessible online, opens the door for accountability and offers shared working possibilities with no limit on the number of users. 

Once the information was laid out in the platform, Séché organized an internal workshop with all the contributors so they could carry on report compilation autonomously in their own working environments. 

At the same time, an Acolad finance solutions team monitored the entire project from A to Z and coordinated everything with Séché.

The value for us is having a solution that is compatible with the new reporting standards. Plus, in terms of costs it’s a no brainer: we cut our bill in half (tens of thousands of euros) and shortened the deadlines.

Manuel Andersen, Séché Environment Investor Relationships Manager

Featured Financial Content Services

  • Global content consulting encompassing technology and processes
  • Collaborative content platform implementation and customization
    • Templates compliant with URD standards and visual branding
    • Personal access for each contributor
    • Assignment of rights by chapter to each user to respect confidentiality and collaborative writing
    • Precise change tracker (date + time + author's name + modified chapter)
  • Parallel translation process: simultaneous creation of English translated version with the original French master
  • Content support: initial user training and daily technology support

The Result

  • 10 times faster URD production
  • Content creation, proofreading & translation services through one single platform
  • Faster statutory audit certifications
  • Automated compliance with URD standards and brand guidelines 
  • Autonomous  management of reports by Séché Environment writers

Thanks to the collaborative platform and processes, Acolad was able to provide the English version of Seché’s URD report almost at the same time as the original French version – within just 2-3 days,. saved more than 1 month on working time. This achievement helped boost image amongst English-speaking investors as it’s very important for them to have equal access to information available as French investors.

One of Séché’s main concerns prior to the platform implementation was the production of the visual aspect, through which they required the intervention of external graphic design agencies. Acolad’s solution helped fulfill Seché’s graphic and design demands in a much shorter (and cost-effective) amount of time, Acolad’s in-house designers were included in the content collaboration process from the start.

For the teams involved, it’s a much more intuitive process, as Manuel Andersen, Séché Environment Investor Relationships Manager, explains: “We can now export the content directly to be translated in XLIFF format and so, the translator works in their usual environment and we can reintegrate the translation directly into the tool. The layout is done automatically at that stage and the translated document already looks like the source document which had previously been formatted at the very beginning of the process. It’s completely different from copy and paste, it’s just about tinkering, it’s a huge time saver.” 


Looking To The Future

Séché found Acolad’s financial content solution so useful and easily compatible with the reporting standards that they plan to extend the partnership with Acolad for all future financial reports using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) global framework at the company.

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