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.

Is it Time to Add Morality to the Business Case for Sustainability?

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)?

New Study Links 'Green' Buildings to Higher Cognitive Function

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.

ESG Ratings – Quo Vadis?

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.

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: The #BusinessCase for Valuing Natural Capital

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.

Investors Urge 100 Companies to Make Good on Science-Based Targets Commitments

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

New York City’s Street Tree Map Proves Ecological, Economic Benefits of Urban Greenery

The value of ecosystem services has, up until recently, gone largely unrecognized by governments and corporations. While nature is inherently valuable for a variety of obvious reasons, putting a price tag on it isn’t exactly a straightforward process.

Accurately Measuring Impacts of Sustainability Investments Needed Now More Than Ever

On the third and final day of New Metrics ’16, Paul Herman of HIP Investor gave us a to-do list:

Reporting 3.0: Progress Toward a More Common Definition of True Materiality

Drawing on the work of Reporting 3.0 - in particular, its Reporting Blueprint and forthcoming Accounting Blueprint - this panel on the final afternoon of New Metrics ‘16 facilitated an animated discussion on true materiality, exploring the broad range of definitions of materiality, and whether they may coalesce into a more common definition or continue to be disparate for different audiences.

Collaboration Key to Catalyzing Broadscale Shift to Net Positive

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. On Tuesday, day 2 of New Metrics ’16, Greg Norris of the International Living Future Institute, Jane Abernethy of HumanScale, John Pflueger of Dell, Johanna Jobin of Biogen and Daniel Aronson of Valutus discussed the next stages of the business world’s efforts to become Net Positive.

Scorecards, Standards and Protocols: Where the #NewMetrics Rubber Hits the Road

Day 2 of New Metrics ‘16 kicked off with a main stage presentation from Reputation Dividend director Sandra Macleod, who provided us with a broad overview of how social impact and other factors can influence brand reputation; reputation, she contends, is a core factor that drives investor behavior.

How Organizations Are Transforming Business Models, Capitalism, Metrics, Systems

On Monday, New Metrics ’16 opened on a hopeful note, despite the unrest following a volatile election season in the United States.

Evonomics: Adding Humanity Back Into Economics

New Metrics ‘16 launched on Monday with a sober yet hopeful tone, channeled through the research and work of culture designer Joe Brewer, as he led attendees through a dialogue around what he calls Evonomics - the new evolution of economics.

Human Capital: Are You Valuing Your Greatest Asset?

You may have heard the common business aphorism, “people are our greatest asset.” CEOs such as Richard Branson — founder of the Virgin Group, and Anne Mulcahy — former CEO of Xerox, are among many business leaders who have publicly made statements of this kind. This sentence even appears on the ‘Who We Are’ portion of the Goldman Sachs website. But while businesses so often claim to value their human capital, how do we ensure this aspiration becomes a reality?

New Metrics for a New Economy: Restore the Earth's EcoMetrics Model

The New Economy has begun. One year into a world where global leaders have agreed to act on 17 concrete Sustainable Development Goals, and where the full force of law is now behind the international agreement on climate change, we are speeding toward a bright future for business that creates value for people, the planet, and the economy.

With King IV, Multicapitalism Goes Mainstream

Last week, the Institute of Directors South Africa (IoDSA) released the King IV Report on Corporate Governance, the long-awaited update to King III, published in 2009

HBR's Top Performing CEOs: Financial Results and Sustainability — A Complex Relationship

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently published its 2016 list of the world’s top 100 CEOs. As in the past, HBR’s staff looked at the financial and ESG (environment, social, governance) performance of the CEOs of 1,200 large companies. They used a measure of financial performance developed by a team of Harvard academics for 80 percent of their score. The remaining 20 percent came from averaging two overall measures of corporate sustainability performance, including CSRHub.

Planetary Boundaries and Social Thresholds – The Importance of Geography

As the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) kicks off in Marrakech, Morocco – one year on from the historic climate agreement in Paris, and 22 years after the first conference in Berlin – it marks the latest attempt to ensure we live within our planetary boundaries for climate change.

Activate Your Metrics: Lessons from Leaders on Leveraging Environmental Data for Sustainability

During this brief but extremely informative breakfast session on the final morning of SB’16 Copenhagen, representatives from Quantis International revealed how they have leveraged their expertise in extracting environmental data to activate metrics for solid sustainability strategy, engagement and communications.

GRI Launches World’s First Global Standards for Sustainability Reporting

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) released new global sustainability reporting standards, which it says will enhance corporate transparency worldwide. The standards give companies a common language for disclosing non-financial information, and will help firms “make better decisions” and contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, or Global Goals).


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