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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.

Q&A: Why Wrangler Joined The Sustainability Consortium

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced earlier this week the addition of its newest member — denim brand Wrangler. Formed in 2009, TSC brings together major brands with academic researchers, NGOs and other stakeholders. The nonprofit works to establish science-based metrics and consensus on the most effective means to improve the environmental and social impacts of products in dozens of different industry sectors.

COP21: 114 Companies Commit to Set Science-Based Emissions-Reduction Targets, Surpassing Goal

The Science-Based Targets initiative announced Tuesday that 114 companies have now committed to set emissions-reduction targets in line with what scientists say is necessary to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees Celsius. The announcement was made at the LPAA Business focus event hosted by Caring for Climate at COP21 in Paris.

Economists Say Climate Impacts Will Be Worse Than Previously Believed

Experts on the economics of climate change have revealed concerns that damages from climate change impacts will be larger and more immediate than previously estimated, according to a new survey from The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law.The survey’s respondents were limited to those who have published an article about food production, climate adaptation, energy economics and other topics related to climate change in a highly ranked, peer-reviewed economics journal since 1994.

SASB's FSA Credential: Who Will Benefit from It and Why

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) recently launched the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential, the first of two exams that explore concepts on the materiality of sustainability information. The FSA is designed for a wide range of professionals who benefit from understanding the link between material sustainability information and a company’s financial performance, including financial and sustainability reporting teams, investors, consultants and securities lawyers.

Caterpillar, TNC, JPMorgan Chase Convene to Discuss Natural Infrastructure Restoration

Construction machinery and equipment giant Caterpillar recently hosted the first major national summit on infrastructure restoration, with the clarion call that investing in nature is smart business. As a major player in the manufacturing industry, Caterpillar reached the conclusion that moving beyond technical principles and establishing a broad coalition of stakeholders is required to bring the restoration conversation mainstream.

While Celebrating Improvement in One Metric, Beware of Unintended Consequences: Part 18

In 17 earlier parts of this series, Claire Sommer, Jill Lipoti and I developed 34 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields. (Find them here.)

Report: Rising Sea Levels Could Make Half a Billion Homeless

Between 470 to 760 million people could lose their homes to rising sea levels if carbon emissions meet or exceed 4°C of warming — the direction in which business-as-usual is heading — with unstoppable rises to occur over centuries, according to a new report and searchable interactive maps published by Climate Central.

Report: Higher CO2 Levels Directly Affect Human Cognition

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that carbon dioxide (CO2) has a direct and negative impact on human cognition and decision-making, according to a new study, as reported by ThinkProgress.These impacts have been observed at carbon dioxide levels that most Americans are routinely exposed to today inside classrooms, offices, homes, planes and cars.

Microsoft’s Manufacturing Operations Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Microsoft has, as of July 1, 2015, achieved carbon neutrality across its manufacturing operations, according to the company’s 2015 Citizenship Report.The software company’s data centers, software development labs, offices and business air travel have been carbon neutral since July 2012.Microsoft was able to achieve carbon neutrality across its global operations due to its internal carbon fee. The program puts a price on carbon and makes the company’s business divisions responsible for the cost of reducing and compensating for the carbon emissions associated with their electricity use and air travel.

Measure Twice, Cut Once: 5 Key Takeaways from the Closing Plenaries at #NewMetrics '15

Sustainability has long been seen as a soft issue — or at least too complex an issue to apply metrics. That is yesterday’s thinking as reaffirmed by all the speakers this week at New Metrics ’15. On the final day, in the second round of plenaries, Biogen, Johnson & Johnson, SASB and TruValue Labs shared their experience and learnings from establishing metrics and setting standards within their respective industries and a few common themes came to the fore.

#NewMetrics '15: Everything You Need to Succeed at Sustainability Investing, Impact Reporting

The final morning’s plenaries at New Metrics ‘15 started with a warm welcome and call from MC Paul Herman of HIP Investor to be energized and ready to focus in on sustainability investing.Herman started with a reminder that 84 percent of the market value of the S&P is intangible and completely missing from the balance sheet. Connecting returns to business efforts around sustainability efforts and performance is a door to finding this value. These absent “knowable but ignored factors” include people as an asset, natural resource efficiency; governance, board diversity and inclusion; and transparency.

UN SDGs Prompting Business Collaboration for a Better World

Back in the ballroom for the last afternoon of Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics ’15, SustainAbility’s research director Chris Guenther hosted a discussion on the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), what they mean for brands, and how they can respond to the risks and opportunities. He was joined by Alyson Genovese, US and Canada head of corporate and stakeholder relations for Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Lindsay Bass, manager of corporate water stewardship for World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

#NewMetrics '15 Panel Dissects Evolving Green Bond Market

The green bond market is growing exponentially, having seen $36 billion issued in 2015 from only $11billion issued in 2013. It remains a fledgling market, yet with continued investor demand and issuers embracing a ‘new green market,’ the future looks bright – according to a panel on the final afternoon at New Metrics ’15.

A Deep Dive Into the Multiple ROI of Well-Run Corporate CSR Programs

As representatives from Walt Disney, Lockheed Martin and Campbell’s Soup attested on Wednesday morning at New Metrics ’15, well-run corporate sustainability programs bring multiple benefits, including increased sales, growing market value, higher employee productivity, and reduced risk exposure, among others.

Better Analysis, Better Choices: A New LCA Tool for a Climate-Challenged World

New Leaf Paper founder Jeff Mendelsohn hosted a workshop on day one of Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics ’15 about an improved Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework that helps users make better decisions by incorporating current climate science impacts, as well as greater transparency and comparability. The framework is called LEO-SCS-002 and is in the process of being added to current LCA standards.

#NewMetrics ’15: How to Accelerate Climate Solutions through Investing

Think talking about investment is always boring? Think again: This had to have been the most highly charged workshop at New Metrics ’15.

#NewMetrics ’15: Aiming for Net Positive? We’re Talking ‘Gross Net Positive’

Clearly, with an exploding population, rapidly accelerating fossil fuel-based consumption and climate catastrophe all looming, the current “net negative” state – whereby we extract more than we return – needs to change. The radically opposite concept – giving more than taking – is ideal.

How to Calculate SROI for Traditionally Overlooked Social Impacts

While quantifying and valuing the true costs and benefits of environmental impacts has matured, doing the same for social impacts remains elusive.

#NewMetrics '15: New Tools for Creating Positive Impact in Your Company's 401(k)

The divestment/investment movement calls on institutional, family, and individual investors to hold themselves accountable for the impacts of financial investments. By moving their money, individuals and institutions can revoke the license of fossil-fuel firms to operate, and doing so accelerates the transition of our global economy away from coal, oil, and gas to sun, wind, and water.

The #BusinessCase for Gender Equality in Leadership

“No country can get ahead if it leaves what amounts to half the population behind.” This quote from the McKinsey report, Economic Benefit of Gender Equality, provided a soft opening to a session focused on the data and facts pointing to the benefits of gender diversity in business.