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Center for Sustainable Organizations

What differentiates CSO from others in the sustainability arena is its strong commitment to an approach for corporate sustainability measurement, management and reporting that is context- and multicapital-based.

Center for Sustainable Organizations

The Center for Sustainable Organizations (CSO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created in 2004 by its founder and Executive Director, Mark W. McElroy, Ph.D. Its purpose is to conduct research, development, training and consulting for, and with, companies around the world interested in improving the sustainability performance of their operations.

What differentiates CSO from others in the sustainability arena is its strong commitment to an approach for corporate sustainability measurement, management and reporting that is context-based (i.e., that interprets sustainability performance in terms of impacts on vital capital resources relative to norms, standards or thresholds for what such impacts would have to be in order to be sustainable).

CSO’s founder and Executive Director, Mark W. McElroy, Ph.D., is also board chair emeritus of the Donella Meadows Institute in Norwich, VT, and formerly led the Center for Sustainability Performance at Deloitte Consulting in Waltham, MA. Mark is also affiliated with the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, where he developed the Social Footprint Method as the subject of his doctoral dissertation in 2008. In addition to his work with CSO, Mark also teaches in the Managing for Sustainability MBA program at Marlboro College in Vermont.

Center for Sustainable Organizations is tagged in 9 stories.
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SustainAccounting Launches World’s First Triple Bottom Line Certification

4 years ago - At the heart of the Certified TBL program is its advocacy of multicapital- and context-based Triple Bottom Line accounting, still new to most organizations but rapidly emerging as the gold standard for measurement and reporting.

GRI and Sustainability Context: Explain It Like We’re Four
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Are Materiality Matrices Really Material?

12 years ago - While it is common practice now for corporate sustainability reports to include materiality matrices, whether or not they actually serve their purpose is debatable. Indeed, we (the Center for Sustainable Organizations) don't think they do, and have some suggestions for how to improve them.

GRI Responds to "Enforce or Explain"
GRI Responds to "Enforce or Explain"

12 years ago - GRI has now formally responded to the Enforce or Explain campaign we (the Center for Sustainable Organizations) launched last month in which we suggested that it either enforce the ‘sustainability context’ principle in its Guidelines, or explain why it doesn’t. Motivated, in part, by GRI’s own Report or Explain Campaign, in which GRI exhorts businesses around the world to issue sustainability reports or explain why they don’t, our campaign was aimed at GRI itself.

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A Public Plea to GRI: Enforce or Explain
A Public Plea to GRI: Enforce or Explain

12 years ago - Earlier this month, we (the Center for Sustainable Organizations) issued a press release in which we called for GRI to either enforce the ‘sustainability context’ requirement in its standard, or explain why it doesn’t. Motivated, in part, by GRI’s own Report or Explain Campaign, in which GRI exhorts businesses around the world to issue sustainability reports or explain why they don’t, our campaign is aimed at GRI itself.

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Do LCAs Measure Up To Sustainability?

12 years ago - Despite the growing use of LCAs (life cycle assessments) to measure the sustainability of products, a strong case can be made that the one has less to do with the other than most people think. By design, LCAs provide a way of quantifying the environmental impacts of products and services from cradle to grave.

Sustainability Context – What Is It?
Sustainability Context – What Is It?

12 years ago - As some readers of this column may already know, I have for the past several years been advocating for the adoption of an approach to sustainability management known as context-based sustainability, or CBS. CBS is not only the most intellectually rigorous form of sustainability management, it is the one upon which the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) explicitly relies in the form of what it refers to as sustainability context.

Do Winning Sustainability Reports Measure Up?
Do Winning Sustainability Reports Measure Up?

14 years ago - Ahead of his breakout session on Strengthening Your Brand with Context Based Sustainability at Sustainable Brands '09, Mark McElroy writes on The Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) call for context in all sustainability reporting. While even award-winning sustainability reports have a hard time putting their achievements into context, their relevance relies upon it.

Corporate Sustainability Reporting - Where's the Context?
Corporate Sustainability Reporting - Where's the Context?

14 years ago - Call me old-fashioned, but I think a sustainability report should actually tell us something about the sustainability performance of the organization it describes. In order to do that, though, it must include context.

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