Stakeholder Trends and Insights

5 Misconceptions About Sustainability Reporting Assurance

First, let’s clarify what assurance is.In this context, assurance is a third-party review of the reliability of a sustainability or corporate responsibility report. It often includes the checking of the data and claims in these reports. Best practice also includes confirming the report focuses on the right things (material issues).The intention is to increase the clarity and trustworthiness of information, while improving the robustness of the methods used to gather it.Assurance is what we are seeking to achieve, building stakeholder confidence and internal engagement by helping confirm that a report appropriately and reliably describes what’s happening within an organization.

P&G Announces New Sustainability Goals – Will They Meet Shareholder Expectations?

Procter & Gamble just announced expansion of its sustainability goals with ambitious new initiatives for 2020 aimed at water conservation and product packaging. But when you’re a company as big, old and sprawling as the Cincinnati-based consumer packaged goods giant, nothing comes easily — including accomplishment of a huge sustainability agenda. And some in P&G’s diverse body of shareholders are making sure to hold the company’s feet to the fire.CEO A.G. Lafley was able to boast about P&G’s “promises kept” on sustainability at the company’s recent annual meeting.

Poll Finds US Shoppers Willing to Spend 31% More Per Week on Responsibly Produced Food

On average, Americans are willing to spend 31 percent more per week on grocery food produced safely and responsibly, according to the Conscious Consumer™ Study issued today by Gibbs-rbb Strategic Communications.

Unilever, Josh Duhamel Latest to Join Feeding America in Tackling Child Hunger in the US

Child hunger is often seen as an issue that only affects the developing world, but it’s actually a lot closer to home than you might think. In America alone, there are an estimated 16 million children (under the age of 18) living in “food insecure” households — homes where it’s not known when or from where the next meal is going to come.

One Solution Does Not Fit All: Early Insights from the Global Opportunity Network

Why is the transition to a sustainable economy going so painfully slow? We have known the challenges for decades. We have the technology needed at hand. Financing has never been much cheaper than now. The sustainable business models have proven viable, and we have had dedicated top-level political focus on the issue (albeit on and off) since the first Earth Summit in Rio.But all that aside, things are moving at a glacial pace (as glaciers are supposed to move: slowly forward, not as many do now) compared to the challenge.

3 Things the NFL Should Do to Regain Women's Trust and Rehab Its Brand

For the NFL to rebuild trust with women in the wake of the ongoing domestic violence debacle, and repair its bruised brand image, Commissioner Roger Goodell will need to do more than apologize, beef up education programs and promise to do better. To truly overcome the damage that’s been done to the reputation of the NFL and its sponsors, Goodell will need to change the way the League thinks about marketing to women, take a zero tolerance stand regarding domestic violence, and ultimately redefine the brand’s purpose toward developing players who are real heroes and role models for kids and families. Here’s a game plan for the NFL and its sponsors:1. Think of women as more than a marketing opportunity

Facebook and Yelp Follow Google and Microsoft in Ditching ALEC

The floodgates have opened: Hot on the heels of Google’s Monday announcement that it was severing ties with controversial conservative lobbying group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Microsoft’s move last month to do the same, Facebook has confirmed it will join them, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

AB InBev Celebrates Global Be(er) Responsible Day, Announces Progress Toward Responsible Drinking Goals

Anheuser-Busch InBev today released the results of its first international survey on consumer attitudes toward the responsible serving and selling of alcoholic beverages — adults of legal drinking age in eight countries were asked about the impact that bartenders, waiters and store clerks have on encouraging responsible drinking. The survey provides new data to highlight the importance of ongoing training and the opportunity to expand these efforts.

From Disclosure to Action: Envisioning the Post-Reporting World

Suppose for a moment the dust had settled on how, what and to whom we should all be reporting our non-financial data.

Traffic Jams – The Manifest Will of the People?

“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”PlatoJust because we want one thing, must we want all that comes with it?It is a peculiar fact of human existence that the mass effect of individual actions can produce an outcome at odds with or likely to undermine (even if in the long run) their original intent.This not-exactly-earth-shattering observation reflects the challenge of balancing individual and collective freedoms; the subject of philosophical reflection on the nature and limits of the rights of the individual since the times of Socrates and Plato.

What Is Holonomic Thinking and Why Should You Care?

It is no secret that the private sector, for the most part, is failing to tackle today’s evolving social and environmental challenges, caused in large part by the nature of current standard business processes. It is getting more and more overwhelming for people to relate to businesses and their old-school practices. The main reason, some would argue, is that we fail to radically think and step out of the proverbial box we have been taught to exist in for generations. We seem to be collectively lacking either an agreed-upon vision of what to look for outside of that box, or the courage to pursue it, or both.

Why Brand Communication Has a Key Role in Driving Sustainability

I always see images that portray nature with different shades of green. This is totally unfair to nature, which is multicoloured. This shallow portrait of sustainability has made the subject eco-boring - limited, distant and rather immature.

World Water Week: Energy, Water Communities Must Cooperate to Meet Global Challenges

Global leaders gathered in Stockholm Monday for 2014 World Water Week urged the energy and water communities to work together to provide clean drinking water and energy for a growing world population. With the theme of "Energy and Water," the 24th annual World Water Week is aimed at finding solutions to challenges in optimizing these resources while acknowledging their interdependency — an increase or decrease in one will immediately affect the other. The two are also inseparable from sustainable development, which must be tirelessly promoted in global decision-making.

SCS Announces Updated Recycled Content Certification Standard

SCS Global Services (SCS), provider of third-party environmental and sustainability certification, has released an updated version of its Recycled Content Certification Standard, which helps manufacturers conserve natural resources, support corporate sustainability goals, and meet customer specifications for recycled products.The SCS Kingfisher Recycled Content label has been applied to products in a wide range of industries, such as textiles, carpet, packaging, building and interior products, wood and paper, insulation, jewelry, precious metals and more.

200 Years After Abolition, Slavery Still a Major Issue in Today's Supply Chains

23 August is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, a date that marks the beginning of the end for the transatlantic slave trade. Unfortunately, this event did not mark the end of slavery altogether. Modern-day slavery in the 21st century remains widespread. The recent Thai fishing industry scandal is just one of the many recent examples.

Millennials' Interest in Social Responsibility Prompts Documentary Boom from Netflix

As Andrew Swinard noted recently in Crain’s Chicago Business: “For millennials — who, at 86 million strong, make up the largest population group the US has ever seen — social responsibility is the new religion.”Which could be a reason streaming media service Netflix, which is spending $3 billion on expanding its original content domestically and abroad, is moving left — shrewdly acquiring exclusive rights to several cause-related and hard-hitting documentaries in a bit for broader adoption by Millennials.

Does Ecoliteracy Prevent Environmental Action?

“Knowledge is not enough” is the slogan of the WorldWatch Institute’s State of the World 2014 campaign, raising the question of whether current environmental education is enough to promote action. The Institute reports that the current ecological literacy (“ecoliteracy”) model of filling the knowledge deficit rather than addressing the behavior deficit has generated an array of highly knowledgeable individuals who still fail to take action despite their understanding of the underlying issues.

Children Imagine Much More Than the Car of the Future in Toyota's Dream Car of the Day Campaign

We all know children have the power to imagine just about anything, so the ingenuity that’s burst forth in response to Toyota’s 8th annual Dream Car of the Day campaign should come as no surprise. Not only have hundreds of children around the world imagined absolutely amazing cars of the future, per the campaign’s purpose, many of them double as solutions to our most pressing environmental, social and health issues.

New Tool Provides Easy Access to Russell 3000's Climate Change Disclosures

Ceres and CookESG Research have launched a free, easy-to-use web tool for accessing climate change-related disclosures in company filings with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, which issued formal climate disclosure guidance in 2010.

Poll: Majority of Business Owners Want Clean Water Rules

Most small business owners favor federal protection of clean water and agree that clean water is necessary for a healthy economy and job creation, according to a new national poll by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC).Key findings from the poll include:80% of small business owners favor federal protection of upstream headwaters and wetlands as proposed in the new "Waters of the U.S." clean water rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).71% of small business owners said that clean water is necessary for jobs and a healthy economy.67% of small business owners are concerned that water pollution could hurt their business in the future.


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