In 19 earlier parts of this series, Claire Sommer,Jill Lipotiand I developed 38 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields (Find themhere.).
Big changes for better outcomes
Businesses today are realizing that to truly address the environmental and social challenges that affect our world, a major shift is required in the way they produce and market products and services.
As with most industries these days, companies in paper and packaging know that their customers — be they publishers, fast food companies or office suppliers — want to buy products that are deemed sustainable. They know that millions of dollars can depend on whether their products can meet this threshold.
Adding to the growing body of research highlighting the value of forests for mitigating climate change, the TD Bank Group (TD) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) have released a new report that assigns an economic value to the ecological goods and services forests provide to Canadians.
With its narrow economic focus, GDP has long been considered a poor measure of human welfare and progress. Several alternatives have been developed over the years to more accurately measure the well-being of a population, including Gross National Happiness (GNH), which uses the collective happiness of a nation as its main development indicator.
The question remains of how best to assess the sustainability of whole economies. If existing measurement models such as GDP, ISEW and GPI focus on size or welfare, then we need a third class of models – one that makes it possible to measure the sustainability performance of economies.
Cities are major contributors to – and battlegrounds of – climate change. According to a report from the UN Habitat, cities pump out roughly 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions whilst just occupying just 2 percent of the Earth’s land.
This post is a response to a challenge posed earlier this year to new IIRC Chief Executive Richard Howitt by Dr. Mark W. McElroy and Martin P. Thomas, co-authors of The Multicapital Scorecard (2016).
The goal to make Integrated Reporting the global norm in corporate reporting is indeed at a breakthrough moment.
What better time to benchmark your sustainability program than the start of the year? Evaluating whether your program is following best practices can spur improvement and provide justification for prioritizing initiatives. This helps determine whether teams are headed in the right direction and moving with enough momentum to meet the sustainability challenges of the future and drive business value. With growing evidence demonstrating the business case for sustainability, such as $8 billion earned in one year by a sample of 150 companies, there are compelling reasons to gauge your program’s health.
While the fashion, food, auto and energy industries are held to high sustainability standards, television tends to fly under the radar. But environmental sustainability is an important issue to networks and producers across the globe. Sky was the first broadcaster to fully embed the Albert carbon calculator tool for screen art production into its commissioning process, and now the BBC is moving forward with plans to employ the scheme across its programming.
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” - Joseph Goldstein
Context is a game-changer for sustainability professionals and for the businesses that they work with.
A dramatic statement is often a good way to start an article – and sometimes they are justified; this piece explains why I think that context heralds big changes for the practice of sustainability and CSR.
Every manager (or consultant) who has pitched an initiative under the banner of “sustainability” has faced the same question nearly every time: What’s the business case?
On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with the question. Business is all about allocating some form of capital, be it financial, human or organizational. So it’s not unfair to wonder what the return on the investment might be. But usually, when executives pose the question about sustainability initiatives, they’re asking about the business case in the narrowest sense: Does this thing pay back, in cash, within some short payback period (1 or 2 years)?
Can better thinking and better health be found in green-certified buildings? New research says yes. Both indoors and out, the built environment plays a critical role in our overall health and well-being. This is especially true as about 90 percent of our time is spent indoors, and buildings have the ability to positively and negatively influence human health.
Now, a new study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment and SUNY Upstate Medical University has found a link between green buildings and improved cognitive function.
The ESG ratings industry is in full transition. Driven by demand from institutional investors and the awakening of the retail investment market, asset managers increasingly consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues an integral part of their investment approach.
For the past year, climate change has returned to the top of the international agenda. While I was attending COP22 in Marrakech last month, the news broke that Trump had been elected President of the United States, with widespread possible implications not just for the U.S. but for the COP21 climate deal reached after such hard bargaining last year in Paris.
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) announced today that they have sent letters to over 100 publicly held companies – including Adobe, Boeing, International Flavors & Fragrances, Keurig Green Mountain, Motorola, Tiffany & Co. and VF Corporation - encouraging them to make good on statements that they would adopt science-based GHG reduction goals within