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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Can There Be Meaningful Integrated Reporting? (Part 2 of 2)

In part one, Mark McElroy examined three types of integrated report structures, as identified by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), along with their limitations. Here, he explores a new methodology that puts stakeholder primacy front and center in integrated reporting.Shareholder Primacy

Can There Be Meaningful Integrated Reporting? (Part 1 of 2)

Last year, prior to the release of the IIRC’s Integrated Reporting (<IR>) framework, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) published an interesting report on integrated reporting trends between 2010 and 2012. Over 750 self-declared integrated reports were studied.One of the key research questions in GRI’s analysis involved the structure of the reports examined and whether or not they could be broadly categorized by type. This would have obvious implications in terms of how the authors of integrated reports interpret the concept of integration itself, while also revealing the approaches they took to measure, analyze and report performance.

UPS Increases Deliveries, Still Meets Carbon-Intensity Reduction Goal Three Years Early

UPS has met its 2016 goal of reducing its air and ground fleet's carbon intensity by 10 percent three years early, and has set a new goal to achieve a 20 percent reduction in carbon intensity from transportation by 2020, according to the company’s new sustainability report.The report outlines the company's "Committed to More" approach to sustainability, highlighting the company's greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals as well as the measurable impact from its humanitarian initiatives.UPS recently pioneered its new Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 guidelines, becoming one of the first companies in the United States to report in accordance at the "Comprehensive" level.

The Mindset Gap in Addressing Sustainability Context

This is the third in a four-part series by Ralph Thurm and Nick De Ruiter examining Sustainability Context.

United Airlines Launches Tool to Help Customers Offset Carbon Footprint

United Airlines has announced the launch of a new business tool for corporate cargo customers to track and offset the emissions associated with their air freight accounts.Carbon Choice allows cargo customers with large-scale, regular shipments to receive customized emissions reports with simple options to offset their company's carbon footprint through United’s partner, Sustainable Travel International (STI). The airline is introducing the tool to allow cargo customers to more easily incorporate carbon-neutral business practices into their overall corporate strategy.

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How to Make (Sustainability) Data Work for You

In the business world we are inundated with data on a daily basis: from bill of materials, formulations, and purchasing records to customer transactions, production volumes and utility bills. The amount of data available for use within organizations continuously increases — so much so that we aren’t just talking about “data” anymore, but “big data,” which puts us into a part of the metric system that I’m not sure we even learned back when I was in elementary school (petabytes of data anyone?). We all recognize there is a lot of data embedded within our business systems, but the real question is, how do we access, filter, organize and ultimately analyze all this data so that it turns into information — and more importantly, information that feeds into intelligent decision-making?

The Sudden Materiality Shock

This is the first in a four-part series by Ralph Thurm and Nick De Ruiter examining Sustainability Context.Spring 2014 seems to be the moment in time where Materiality suddenly appeared on the screen of corporate sustainability reporters. At least one could wonder why, within a couple of weeks, countless workshops popped up around the world, webcasts were announced and books were published just on this one single issue of the sustainability reporting agenda. One author even declared a calm "war on Materiality." But wait a minute — the issue of defining what is material in sustainability reports isn't new, so what's the reason for this sudden shake-up?

Natural Capital Protocol Will Demystify Business Value of Nature

The Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) announced this week its selection of two consortia to develop what will be known as the Natural Capital Protocol.

SABMiller Aims to Help the World ‘Prosper’ with New 2020 Goals

SABMiller has set new 2020 targets for its sustainable development programs. The new program, called Prosper, focuses on supporting the role small businesses play in generating economic growth and reducing poverty around the world. The world’s second-largest brewer says it is using its supply chains from farmers to retailers to drive inclusive growth, sustainable resource use and alcohol responsibility.With its new set of goals, SABMiller has pledged to:

GE Generates $28 Billion from Sustainability R&D

GE invested more than $2 billion in research and development for ecomagination and healthymagination innovations in 2013, with ecomagination offerings generating $28 billion in revenue, according to the company’s new sustainability report.

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CDP: US Utilities Now Pricing Carbon as Part of Core Business Strategy

In response to increasing recognition of climate risk, CDP has released a new white paper containing fresh insights into how a price on carbon pollution might benefit companies and the US economy as a whole. Contributors include American Electric Power (AEP) chairman Nick Akins, former Governor and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, along with investors, policy experts from Stanford and Columbia Universities, and other select thought leaders.

How a Life Cycle-Driven Business Model Can Increase Sustainable Impact

There are now a rash of sustainable business models — sharing economy, eco-design, circular economy and many others — all with their good points and their fifteen minutes of fame. Even if companies have good products and a thorough understanding of their customers’ needs, using the wrong business model means not all of them succeed in achieving their sustainability business goals.Know What Your Hotspots Are

AT&T Saves $191 Million from Energy-Efficiency Projects in 4 Years

AT&T has realized annualized energy savings of more than $191 million from 18,800 energy efficiency projects implemented since 2010, according to the company’s recent Annual Update, released Tuesday.Besides energy efficiency, other highlights from 2013 include progress on supplier engagement, water efficiency and AT&T’s education initiative, Aspire:Supply chain

Ford Cuts Water Use 30% Two Years Ahead of Schedule

Ford has reached its goal to cut the amount of water used to make each vehicle by 30 percent worldwide two years ahead of schedule, according to the company’s 2013-2014 Sustainability Report.Ford says it is furthering its commitment to aggressively step up water conservation programs at its global facilities and among its suppliers. Plans are underway to further cut water use by another 2 percent this year and to set new long-term goals.

MillerCoors Reduces Water Usage by 9.1%, Energy Usage 15.6%

MillerCoors now uses an average of 3.48 barrels of water to brew one barrel of beer, a 9.1 percent decrease from 2012, according to the brewer’s latest sustainability report. For comparison, some U.S. breweries use more than 6 barrels of water to produce a single barrel of beer.

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#SB14sd: Can Social Impact Help You Grow Your Brand? Use the Social Value Index™ to Know Before You Invest.

It’s the same old story: Consumers say they care about social impact but their behavior just doesn’t match their statements. So marketers and brand managers have rightfully begun to doubt this claim. Why does this happen? Because the traditional approach to determining what social impact to fund has been more like guesswork than the rigorous consumer research approaches used for other marketing decisions. The result is that brands and companies spend literally billions of dollars on causes and issues in hopes their consumers will care. There must be a better way. And now there is...

#SB14sd: PRé Offering Free Sustainability Metrics Assessments for Innovative, Sustainable Startups

PRé has long been the metrics solutions partner for first-movers in a variety of industries aiming to create business value from sustainable products. Perhaps best known for its industry-standard SimaPro LCA software, PRé profoundly believes in the possibility and viability of a sustainable future and the crucial role metrics can play in that transformation.So in the interest of furthering business’ positive impacts from the ground up, PRé has announced that, through the end of the year, it will provide complimentary sustainability metrics assessments to promising mission-driven startups, in order to accelerate their expansion.

How Postmodernism Can Help Your Company’s Sustainability Metrics. Really.

Resources for grappling when “all perspectives seem true,” and long-established categories are crumblingIn 10 earlier parts of this series, we discussed 20 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field. (Find the first 7 articles here and the last three here.)Think you have it bad trying to accurately measure and report on your company’s carbon footprint and supply chain impacts?

Materiality and Integrated Reporting: A Context-Based Perspective (Part 2 of 2)

In part 1, the Center for Sustainable Organizations’ Mark McElroy provided a refresher on the thinking behind context-based sustainability (CBS) and materiality. Here, he elaborates on ways companies can define and use materiality for themselves.The Context-Based View

Materiality and Integrated Reporting: A Context-Based Perspective (Part 1)

With all of the airtime being given to materiality and integrated reporting these days, I am increasingly asked to explain what the context-based sustainability (CBS) perspective might be for each. Indeed, the implications of CBS are quite profound on both fronts. But before I explain them, let me first take a moment to remind readers of what CBS is and how it is defined.

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