New Metrics

Throughout October, we'll more closely examine the metrics that are helping expand the way businesses create, quantify, manage and report their impacts, and the value they’re helping to deliver

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

NEW METRICS - 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

NEW METRICS - 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

NEW METRICS - 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

NEW METRICS - 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).

Navigating a Sea of Sustainability Tools Doesn’t Have to Be So Hard

NEW METRICS - Frontier Co-Op has always been a recognized leader in sustainability, and it remains an industry leader given its cooperative governance structure, organic and fair trade products, commitment to give back 1%, and Well Earth program for supplier development.

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SDGs Becoming More Prominent in Sustainability Reporting, But Challenges Remain

NEW METRICS - One year after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, or Global Goals), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) proudly announced that nearly a third of its members are communicating on the SDGs, just as United Nations (UN) officials called for more integration of the Goals into corporate sustainability reporting at an annual meeting in Geneva.

Practice What You Preach Can Now Be Measured

NEW METRICS - There’s a new wave of research that is measuring whether companies’ purpose matches their actions. What it’s found my not be surprising: Globally, there is a purpose-action gap among corporate brands. “It’s time to move from thought leadership to action leadership,” said Charlotte West, director at Business in the Community, a responsible business network in the UK. “We can genuinely make the world a better place by practically embedding purpose in our brands. And a good, resilient purpose should have sustainability at its heart.”

Where Does Your Brand Fall on the Sustainability Maturity Scale?

NEW METRICS - “For many organizations, the largest challenge is to implement sustainable initiatives.” So stated Daniela Pigosso, co-founder of management consultant firm Essensus, as we began one of the first round of workshops at SB’16 Copenhagen. For the next three hours we learned and discussed how to develop a structured approach to sustainability. It’s Monday morning, and the crowd is smiling. Everyone seemed ready for some serious learning.

5 Commonly Missed Opportunities in Corporate Sustainability

NEW METRICS - Sustainability has finally gone mainstream (or, at least, the desire to be seen as doing important work around sustainability and benefit from sustainability credentials has gone mainstream). Well, OK, at the very, very least the desire to be seen as having great sustainability programs is mainstreaming among large multinationals and a growing wave of environmentally or socially minded startups.

Setting the Bar High Enough, Part 5: Why Setting Science-Based Targets Isn't Enough

NEW METRICS - In this series of articles, the team at the Carbon Trust outlines the reasons for businesses to adopt science-based targets on climate change. This is the fifth and final part of the series; find the other parts here: Part 1: Why do we need to set science-based targets on climate change? Part 2: What exactly is a science-based target?

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Setting the Bar High Enough, Part 4: Making the Internal Business Case for Science-Based Targets

NEW METRICS - In this series of articles, the team at the Carbon Trust outlines the reasons for businesses to adopt science-based targets on climate change. This is the fourth in the series; find the other parts here: Part 1: Why do we need to set science-based targets on climate change? Part 2: What exactly is a science-based target?

Setting the Bar High Enough, Part 3: Why Should Companies Set Science-Based Targets?

NEW METRICS - In this series of articles, the team at the Carbon Trust outlines the reasons for businesses to adopt science-based targets on climate change. This is the third in the series; find the other parts here: Part 1: Why do we need to set science-based targets on climate change? Part 2: What exactly is a science-based target?

Setting the Bar High Enough, Part 2: What Exactly Is a Science-Based Target?

NEW METRICS - In this series of articles, the team at the Carbon Trust outlines the reasons for businesses to adopt science-based targets on climate change. Read part one. To put it simply, a carbon emissions target is defined as science-based if it is in line with the scale of reductions required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

Setting the Bar High Enough: The Case for Science-Based Targets on Climate Change

NEW METRICS - In this series of articles, the team at the Carbon Trust outlines the reasons for businesses to adopt science-based targets on climate change.

CISL Reveals Insights from Testing Natural Capital Protocol, Launches Protocol Application Program

NEW METRICS - With increasing pressure on natural resources and the accompanying impact on the environment, more businesses are beginning to realize the importance of properly valuing the natural resources upon which they depend. To do this they need to include ‘natural capital’ in their decision-making processes alongside other forms of capital, such as financial and human capital. The challenge for companies is a lack of data, tools and processes to facilitate business decision making in a rigorous and consistent way.

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Natural Capital Protocol Promises to ‘Revolutionize’ Business Value, Decision-Making

NEW METRICS - Two years in the making, the first global Natural Capital Protocol was launched today. The standardized framework brings together and builds on a number of approaches that already exist to help business measure and value natural capital. The Natural Capital Coalition suggests that by harmonizing these existing approaches, businesses everywhere can benefit from understanding their relationships with nature.

It Is Time to Develop and Apply a Set of Standardized Sustainability Metrics

NEW METRICS - Efforts to measure corporate sustainability performance are now rampant. Many companies are actively working to improve the measurement of their sustainability impact; a Google search of “corporate sustainability metrics” yields 1.25 million results. Unfortunately, it is still unclear how corporate sustainability performance should be measured. A set of standardized metrics is needed to improve sustainability measurement and reporting.

Leaders Discuss Paths to Health, Well-Being and Net Positive at the SHINE Summit 2016

NEW METRICS - Last week Harvard’s Sustainability and Health Initiative for Net Positive Enterprise (SHINE) hosted its annual Net Positive Summit to showcase the latest trends in well-being and health, and how they factor into creating Net Positive impacts. SHINE’s mission is to help corporations across all sectors measure and accelerate the ways in which they help the world become a healthier, more sustainable place. The summit showcased how integral well-being – which includes a combination of employee health and the health of the planet – is to creating a flourishing future.

New Science Advisory Council Looks to Shape Ag Sustainability Measurement

NEW METRICS - Yesterday, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture announced the launch of a new Science Advisory Council focused on informing the membership-based organization’s “science-based approach to delivering sustainable outcomes at the field and landscape levels.” Comprised of 12 experts, the Council is being asked to develop a sustainability standard for commodity crop production in the United States that “helps catalyze continuous improvement in environmental outcomes.”

The Body Shop Is Using the Future-Fit Business Benchmark to 'Enrich Not Exploit' - and You Can, Too

NEW METRICS - We have entered a new era: the Anthropocene, an era characterized by humans as the dominant influence on climate and the environment. We are causing changes at such an unprecedented rate that it has been called ‘the Great Acceleration.’ We are well on our way to exceeding planetary boundaries, and while science has established some understanding of this, it is still rather abstract for us in our daily lives and in our business planning.

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