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

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

NEW METRICS - 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'

NEW METRICS - 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

NEW METRICS - 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

NEW METRICS - 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:

'Integral Thinking and True Materiality': An Introduction

NEW METRICS - If 2015 was the year that inspired new hope in sustainability with the publication of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the success of COP21, 2016 is the year the rubber needs to hit the road when it comes to implementation and impact. So rather than add to the end-of-year 10-best-of-this-and-that listing stampede, instead I’ve created a 6-piece series summarizing essential learnings from 2015 to focus priorities and actions for 2016.*Reflecting on 2015, my own work focused on front-end developments needed in three interlinked areas:

It's All Relative: The Fatal Flaw in Corporate Sustainability Ratings

NEW METRICS - Corporate sustainability ratings are of growing interest to business leaders, investors, and the general public. The annual releases of popular ratings such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index now attract widespread coverage. A key driver of this interest is the belief that these ratings schemes allow us to distinguish sustainable corporations from those that are not.

How the Insurance Industry Can Help Save Humanity

NEW METRICS - The industrial economy is geared towards maximization of wealth. This target has led towards substantial, even amazing, economic growth during the last two centuries. Yet, at the same time this growth has introduced new risks and has caused severe threats and actual damages to the environment and to the social framework.Some risks are environmental: Global climate change; loss of diversity that decreases resilience; damage to delicate food chains; and land, air and water pollution. Others are societal, such as employment security, growing inequality in income and wealth, pressures related to rapid urbanization, and demographic changes that threaten retirement system.

Sustainability Mythbusters: Is Reducing Product Energy Use Always the Best Solution?

NEW METRICS - 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: product energy use.

Countries Ranked on Sustainable Competitiveness; US and UK Score Below China, Russia

NEW METRICS - Think tank and sustainable management consultancy SolAbility recently released its fourth Global Sustainable Competitiveness Index (GSCI), a ranking of 180 countries for “sustainable competitiveness,” defined as the ability to generate and sustain inclusive wealth and dignifying standard of life for all citizens in a globalised world of competing economies.Iceland topped the list for the second year running, followed by other Scandinavian nations. The only non-European countries in the top 20 are Japan (11), New Zealand (12), and Canada (16). The US ranked 41 and the UK ranked 48; China and Russia ranked above them at 25 and 33, respectively.

Automakers Beat GHG Standards for Third Year Running

NEW METRICS - Vehicle manufacturers have surpassed the more stringent 2014 standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the third consecutive year, while model year 2014 fuel economy remains steady at the highest level ever recorded, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).The findings were included in two reports the agency released last week: the annual report on fuel economy trends and a report on the auto industry’s progress toward meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks.

Q&A: Why Wrangler Joined The Sustainability Consortium

NEW METRICS - The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced earlier this week the addition of its newest member — denim brand Wrangler. Formed in 2009, TSC brings together major brands with academic researchers, NGOs and other stakeholders. The nonprofit works to establish science-based metrics and consensus on the most effective means to improve the environmental and social impacts of products in dozens of different industry sectors.

COP21: 114 Companies Commit to Set Science-Based Emissions-Reduction Targets, Surpassing Goal

NEW METRICS - The Science-Based Targets initiative announced Tuesday that 114 companies have now committed to set emissions-reduction targets in line with what scientists say is necessary to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees Celsius. The announcement was made at the LPAA Business focus event hosted by Caring for Climate at COP21 in Paris.

Economists Say Climate Impacts Will Be Worse Than Previously Believed

NEW METRICS - Experts on the economics of climate change have revealed concerns that damages from climate change impacts will be larger and more immediate than previously estimated, according to a new survey from The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law.The survey’s respondents were limited to those who have published an article about food production, climate adaptation, energy economics and other topics related to climate change in a highly ranked, peer-reviewed economics journal since 1994.

SASB's FSA Credential: Who Will Benefit from It and Why

NEW METRICS - The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) recently launched the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential, the first of two exams that explore concepts on the materiality of sustainability information. The FSA is designed for a wide range of professionals who benefit from understanding the link between material sustainability information and a company’s financial performance, including financial and sustainability reporting teams, investors, consultants and securities lawyers.

While Celebrating Improvement in One Metric, Beware of Unintended Consequences: Part 18

NEW METRICS - In 17 earlier parts of this series, Claire Sommer, Jill Lipoti and I developed 34 pitfalls in the sustainable business metrics field, based on the experiences of many mostly non-business fields. (Find them here.)

Caterpillar, TNC, JPMorgan Chase Convene to Discuss Natural Infrastructure Restoration

NEW METRICS - Construction machinery and equipment giant Caterpillar recently hosted the first major national summit on infrastructure restoration, with the clarion call that investing in nature is smart business. As a major player in the manufacturing industry, Caterpillar reached the conclusion that moving beyond technical principles and establishing a broad coalition of stakeholders is required to bring the restoration conversation mainstream.

Report: Rising Sea Levels Could Make Half a Billion Homeless

NEW METRICS - Between 470 to 760 million people could lose their homes to rising sea levels if carbon emissions meet or exceed 4°C of warming — the direction in which business-as-usual is heading — with unstoppable rises to occur over centuries, according to a new report and searchable interactive maps published by Climate Central.

Report: Higher CO2 Levels Directly Affect Human Cognition

NEW METRICS - Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that carbon dioxide (CO2) has a direct and negative impact on human cognition and decision-making, according to a new study, as reported by ThinkProgress.These impacts have been observed at carbon dioxide levels that most Americans are routinely exposed to today inside classrooms, offices, homes, planes and cars.

Microsoft’s Manufacturing Operations Achieve Carbon Neutrality

NEW METRICS - Microsoft has, as of July 1, 2015, achieved carbon neutrality across its manufacturing operations, according to the company’s 2015 Citizenship Report.The software company’s data centers, software development labs, offices and business air travel have been carbon neutral since July 2012.Microsoft was able to achieve carbon neutrality across its global operations due to its internal carbon fee. The program puts a price on carbon and makes the company’s business divisions responsible for the cost of reducing and compensating for the carbon emissions associated with their electricity use and air travel.

Measure Twice, Cut Once: 5 Key Takeaways from the Closing Plenaries at #NewMetrics '15

NEW METRICS - Sustainability has long been seen as a soft issue — or at least too complex an issue to apply metrics. That is yesterday’s thinking as reaffirmed by all the speakers this week at New Metrics ’15. On the final day, in the second round of plenaries, Biogen, Johnson & Johnson, SASB and TruValue Labs shared their experience and learnings from establishing metrics and setting standards within their respective industries and a few common themes came to the fore.

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