New Metrics
The Need for Integral Thinking and True Materiality

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:

  • the fact that existing standards (GRI, IIRC, SASB, etc) fall short of enabling if and when an organization will actually be 'sustainable.’ We call this the Sustainability Context Gap, which the Sustainability Context Group has been addressing with the major standard-setters for years. Many SustyContextGroup members are actively engaged in Reporting 3.0 as well as the Sustainable Brands communities.
  • the failure of linking corporate performance with social floors and environmental ceilings in ways that lead to organizational transformation and pioneering leadership. The ThriveAbility Foundation calls this a 'three gap problem,’ and if not tackled all together there is little chance of success that the reporting entity will ever be sustainable.

In consequence of this list of struggles, strategy, organizational dynamics, data management, accounting and finally reporting need a new impetus if we want to tap the 'transformational potential’ to become thriving organizations. We need trust, innovation and resilience as the outcome of a combined approach to renew the discussion around purpose, success and scalability, as shown in diagram 1 in Part 1 of this series. Part 3 through 5 will pick up on each element — purpose, success and scalability, while part 6 will look at the wanted effects — trust, innovation, resilience. Together, they define the future agenda of reporting as a trigger for sustainability — to create the future we envision.

What is your company's true value to society?

The answer might surprise you. Join us as we explore the latest metrics for assessing your company's environmental, human, social and financial contribution to society — at New Metrics '19, November 18-20.

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