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New Metrics

The new and evolving metrics that are helping expand the way businesses create, quantify, manage and report their impacts, and the value they deliver.

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First Round of Plenaries at #NewMetrics '15 Tackles ROI, Reporting, Multiple Capitals, Science-Based Goals

The main-stage program of New Metrics ’15 kicked off Wednesday with a simple, yet powerful reminder: This set of conversations is all about upside potential, smarter risk management and long-term resilience. Our focus this week — New Metrics — are metrics that allow business leaders to quantify previously ignored ESG impacts, or capture entirely new forms of business value based on new opportunities along those dimensions.

#NewMetrics '15: Willard, Gowdy Present the Holy Grail of Managing Non-Financial Performance

“As a business community we are making progress, but not enough, and not fast enough.

Sustainability Mythbusters: Is Minimizing Transportation Always Good?

As a science-based method, life cycle analysis (LCA) is an excellent tool to bust the myths that surround sustainability. In this monthly series, we look at some common sustainability ideas to see if they aremyth or truth. In today’s episode: transportation.

An Intro to ThriveAbility: The Next Stage of Development for Sustainability

You all know the classic quip for our field:John: “My marriage is sustainable.”Jane: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that…”You get it: The notion of “sustainability,” while vitally necessary, inspires enthusiasm like a hairshirt. What we humans really want to do is thrive! The problem sustainability confronts is that the human pursuit of thriving (as currently enacted) wreaks havoc — we overshoot planetary boundaries and erode social foundations.

ROSI: JetBlue's Unique New Metrics for Assessing the ROI of Sustainability

In a whitepaper released this summer, JetBlue explores how building wider purpose into brands yields competitive advantage. “The Matter with Metrics: Measuring the ROI of Sustainability” presents a four-pronged framework to creating and measuring authentic sustainability programs and consumer messaging.I spoke with Nancy Elder, VP of Communications at JetBlue and co-author of the paper, about how to bake sustainability into business models and reap its multiple financial benefits.

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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Reaches 500-Year Low

California’s record-low snowpack this year actually may be far more historic than previously thought — at its lowest in more than 500 years, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, The Los Angeles Times reports.To reconstruct centuries-old snow conditions, researchers analyzed data from snowpack measuring stations in the Sierra Nevada, as well as two tree-ring studies. The first study used measurements from 1,500 living and dead blue oak trees to estimate rainfall back to the year 1400. The second included tree-ring data from a different group of trees to model temperatures for the same period.

Cutting GHGs by 25% Among Carnival’s New 2020 Sustainability Goals

After meeting its initial goal a year ahead of schedule, Carnival Corporation has renewed its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from its 2005 baseline by 2020, according to a recent announcement of the travel and leisure company’s 2020 sustainability goals.As part of the effort, the company and its 10 global brands have developed strategic energy reduction and conservation initiatives, many of which exceed current laws and regulations.

Report: Low-Carbon Cities a $17 Trillion Economic Opportunity

Investing in public and low emission transport, building efficiency, and waste management in cities could generate savings with a current value of $17 trillion by 2050, according to new research from the New Climate Economy, the flagship project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.The report, Accelerating Low-Carbon Development in the World’s Cities, found that these low-carbon investments could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (Gt CO2e) per year by 2030, more than the current annual emissions of India.

What Is the Payoff from Product Sustainability Investments?

Those of us in the field may share a deep-seated belief that sustainability efforts across the product value chain pay clear dividends — but it’s nice to have proof.

Beverage Industry Giants Release True Cost of Water Toolkit

The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) — a technical coalition of leading global beverage companies working to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector - has leveraged its expertise to develop a user-friendly tool to help facilities better estimate their “true cost” of water. This interactive tool can help facilities within the beverage industry and beyond better determine direct costs associated with their most water- and resource-intensive processes.

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Report: Climate Impacts Causing Billions in Economic Damage; El Niño Making It Worse

As El Niño continues to intensify in the coming months, it is expected that global drought losses will surpass the current forecast $8 billion in economic damage, according to a new report by Aon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of risk management firm Aon.

Yes, You Can Learn From a Regulator: The Pitfalls of Sustainable Business Metrics, Part 17

In 16 earlier parts of this series, Claire Sommer and I developed 29 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields. (Find them here.) From this point on, the series will be co-authored by Dr. Jill Lipoti.

Citibank: Tackling Climate Change Would Create Positive ROI for the Global Economy

Taking action to mitigate climate change by investing in a low-carbon energy mix will save more money in the long run than inaction, even before accounting for savings from avoided climate damage costs, according to a new report by Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (GPS), a division within Citibank.

SimaPro Share & Collect Software Facilitates Fast, Fact-Based Sustainability Decisions

Today, PRé Sustainability, a sustainability software and consultancy firm with 25 years’ experience as leading voice in life cycle management, life cycle assessment and sustainability metrics development, launches SimaPro Share & Collect, a web-based platform developed to facilitate fact-based sustainable decision-making in an efficient, time-saving manner.

At Last, a Business Case for CSR That Even Milton Friedman Could Love -- The Sustainability Effect!

Way back in 1962, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman famously proclaimed, “… there is one and only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits …” And while most of us in the CSR and sustainability worlds have tended to recoil in horror at those words, some of us have no less earnestly longed for a way to live up to them. Isn’t it possible, we’ve asked, for sustainability to be good for society, the environment and shareholder value, all at the same time? What better way to achieve sustainability in commerce, that is, than to disarm its most formidable foe - the presumed lack of a business case?

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#BusinessCase: Ecolab, Trucost Expand Water Risk Monetizer to Include Revenue-at-Risk Assessment

Just in time for World Water Week, the Water Risk Monetizer, industry’s first publicly available financial modeling tool that enables businesses to factor current and future water risks into decision making, now provides users with insights into how water scarcity impacts revenue. The tool’s new assessment helps water-dependent businesses better understand the full value of water to their operations and identify revenue at risk based on current and projected water scarcity.

The Implications of an Emerging Corporate Conscience for Sustainable Business Metrics: Part 16

In 15 earlier parts of this series, Claire Sommer and I developed 28 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields. (Find them here.)

Introducing PEF: A Game-Changer in LCA

The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) approach is a game-changing standard in LCA, with effects and ramifications that we are only just beginning to understand. That’s why PRé is devoting an article series to PEF, discussing it one aspect at a time.Today: How did PEF come about? And what are some of the lessons we have learned so far?

5 Evolving Reasons Every Business Should Care About #NewMetrics

If you are a regular or even semi-regular reader of Sustainable Brands, you are likely familiar with our New Metrics (#NewMetrics) events and publications.

The Implications of an Emerging Corporate Conscience for Business Metrics: Part 15

In 14 earlier parts of this series, Claire Sommer and I developed 26 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields (Find them here.)

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