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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Toyota, Ben & Jerry’s Among 155 Companies to Set Science-Based Emissions Reduction Targets

Forty-one companies have joined the Science-Based Targets initiative since the COP21 climate negotiations in December. On the eve of the Climate Action Summit in Washington, D.C. last week, the initiative announced that a total of 155 companies have now committed to set emissions reduction targets in-line with the global effort to keep warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Sustainable Extravagance: Kering Calls for Collaboration to Change Paradigm in Luxury Goods

Luxury goods and responsible consumption need not be contradictory terms — that was the core takeaway from a livestream Q & A session held earlier this week by Kering, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury apparel and home to brands such as Gucci, PUMA, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.

Beyond the SEC and Disclosure: Why Materiality Matters

Materiality is murky – especially when it comes to sustainability. Reporting on material issues in the financial context has been legally required for decades and is widely understood. It is less widely understood – and not yet well applied – in non-financial contexts. This clearly has to change – and quickly. Various stakeholders, including shareholders, are increasingly demanding greater identification and disclosure of material sustainability issues. They have become ever more aware of the opportunities, as well as the risks, of these matters.

Oxfam: Big 10 Food Brands Must Walk Their Talk to Truly Boost Social Sustainability

Nine of the “Big 10” global food and beverage companies - Associated British Foods (ABF), Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever - have improved their ratings by at least 10 percent in three years since Oxfam began keeping score through its Behind the Brands scorecard.

How to Take the Pain Out of CSR Reporting

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and other forms of sustainability reporting can be a painful process. Whether you’re a one-person sustainability, health and safety manager or your company has staff around the world who share reporting responsibilities, it can be challenging to effectively collect, assess, and communicate your company’s sustainability metrics.

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G-Star, Ted Baker Lead Fashion Sustainability Disclosure with MADE-BY’s Revamped Scorecards

Fashion brands’ sustainability performance has lacked independent verification and true transparency. European non-profit MADE-BY is hoping their ‘ground-breaking’ new tool, called MODE Tracker, will change that.

Chris Hale: The Future of Impact Investing is About Measuring Impact

That investing to make a positive impact as well as a dime has evolved considerably over the past few years has turned on its head a long-standing worldview that the sole purpose of business and investing is to make money, while solving social and environmental challenges is the domain of government and charity. While some may remain skeptical that for-profit investment can be both a morally legitimate and economically effective way to address social and environmental problems, impact investing is moving swiftly from concept to convention.

True Materiality and Integral Thinking: Editor's Postlude

It has been my pleasure to edit this tour-de-force 6-part series — now an e-book — by my colleague, Ralph Thurm, in which he lays out his vision for how integral thinking and true materiality can catalyze a regenerative and inclusive economy, leveraging the work of the ThriveAbility Foundation, the Reporting 3.0 Platform, and the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR).

New Evidence Bolsters Claims of Connectivity Between CSR and Market Caps

Last August, I published an article here in which I described what, to me, is the most compelling business case for corporate sustainability or CSR extant: the fact that it literally drives the market values of publicly traded firms up or down in measurable ways. To be clear, I believe there are two fundamental business cases for CSR: an intrinsic one and an extrinsic one. The intrinsic one involves the pursuit of sustainability for its own sake; the extrinsic one involves the pursuit of sustainability for financial gain – a means to an end.

How Do We Assess Impact (and Why Should We)?

I recently attended the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 2nd Inclusive Business Forum for Asia in the Philippines, where I sat in on an engaging discussion on assessing the merits of impact investments.

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Integral Thinking and True Materiality Define Trust, Innovation, Resilience (Part 6)

This is the final part of a 6-part series about integral thinking and true materiality. It proposes a new impetus to develop reporting that is able to serve the idea of a green & inclusive economy.

How to Make a Material Impact on Your Company's Sustainability

Sustainability Rising It will come as no surprise to this community that sustainability has moved well beyond social and environmental responsibility circles to become a C-suite priority. The numbers give voice to the trend:

Integral Thinking & True Materiality, Part 5: Scalability Opportunities Define the Size of Impact

This is part 5 of a 6-part series about integral thinking and true materiality. It proposes a new impetus to develop reporting that is able to serve the idea of a green & inclusive economy. Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Q&A: How the YK Center Is Pushing Forward the ‘New Economy’

That the future of profit is purpose is the modus operandi of the YK Center, a self-proclaimed “for-benefit organization” striving to push the needle on a more sustainable economy.

Integral Thinking, Part 4: Defining Success Leads to True Value Creation

This is part 4 of a 6-part series about integral thinking and true materiality. It proposes a new impetus to develop reporting that is able to serve the idea of a green & inclusive economy. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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What If 'Opposites' Aren't Really Opposite?: Part 19

In 18 earlier parts of this series, Claire Sommer, Jill Lipoti and I developed 37 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields (Find them here.).

Integral Thinking and True Materiality, Part 3: Purpose Definition Defines Connectedness

This is Part 3 of a 6-part series about integral thinking and true materiality. It proposes a new impetus to develop reporting that is able to serve the idea of a green & inclusive economy. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Sustainability Mythbusters: Products With 'Zero Emissions'

It's easy to use 'common sense' and make assumptions in sustainability, but does that get you the results you want? As a science-based method, LCA is an excellent tool to bust the myths that surround sustainability. In this series, we look at some common sustainability ideas to see if they are myth or truth. In today’s episode: the drive towards zero emissions.

Researchers from ASU, Yale, NOAA Develop Equation for Calculating Value of Natural Capital

Many businesses have come to better understand the critical importance of nature as an input, but the question still remains as to how its value compares to other assets — not as lumber or drinking water or a fancy dinner, but as standing forests, healthy aquifers or living organisms.

The Need for Integral Thinking and True Materiality

This is part 2 of a 6-part series about integral thinking and true materiality. It proposes a new impetus to develop reporting that is able to serve the idea of a green & inclusive economy. Part 1 can be found here.Those of us who have been working in the areas of corporate sustainability and integrated reporting struggle to reconcile the gap between our aspirations for a world we envision, and the current world that falls short of sustainability and integration. More precisely, some of the following aspects have also led to the raison d’être of the three initiatives that I presented in Part 1. Here are the most important ones:

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