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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.

New Tool Aims to Assess Landscape-Level Forest Sustainability

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.

TD, NCC Assign Economic Value to Ecological Services of Canada’s Forests

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.

Norway Earns Top Spot in 2017 World Happiness Report

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.

Introducing Aggregate Capital Sufficiency (ACS) – A New Alternative to GDP

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.

Consumption-Based Metrics: The Next Challenge for Zero-Waste Cities

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.

Richard Howitt on a Sustainability-Inclusive IIRC: I'm Up for the Challenge!

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.

3 Key Resources for Benchmarking Your Sustainability Program

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.

BBC Employs Alberta Scheme to Track Carbon Footprint, Reduce Environmental Impacts

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.

Context and Capitals – The Next Big Things in Corporate Sustainability

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.

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.