CSRHub Blog Research on ESG metrics and comments on sustainability best practice

CSRHub Adds A Major New Source--Ideal Ratings

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 21, 2017 10:07:39 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

CSRHub recently added a major new source to its pantheon of ratings partners—Ideal RatingsIdeal Ratings.jpg Ideal Ratings seeks to provide ESG data to Socially Responsible Investors (SRIs).  This is similar to the target market for our long-time friends at ET Global Indexes, IW Financial, MSCI, RepRisk, Thompson’s Asset4, Trucost and Vigeo EIRIS.  However,  Ideal Ratings has some features that differentiate it from these other sources:

  1. 40,000 company coverage. Ideal Ratings includes information on almost all of the 48,000 publicly-traded companies that CSRHub tracks.  Only RepRisk (which currently rates more than 80,000 entities!) has broader coverage.  Thanks to this new addition to CSRHub’s system, we will be able to continue expanding the number of companies we rate from our current tally of about 17,000 to at least 20,000, over the next few months.
  2. Comprehensive list of policy and disclosure indicators. We receive more than 300 different indicators from Ideal Ratings.  This is comparable to the lists from Asset4, MSCI, and Vigeo EIRIS—although Ideal Ratings is more oriented towards tracking specific policies and disclosures than any of our other sources except Asset4.
  3. Extra depth on some special issues. Like many other sources, Ideal Ratings assesses how companies perform on issues that are of special interest to particular stakeholder groups.  Ideal’s operations are in Egypt, so it is not surprising that it offers strong information on Sharia law issues.  Ideal Ratings also tries to estimate the percentage of revenue from issues such as Nuclear Power, involvement in controversial regimes, and “sin” issues such as gambling and alcohol sales.  This is similar to work that IW Financial also publishes.

While Ideal Ratings offers “opinions” on the overall sustainability performance of the companies it covers, its views appear to be quite different from those of both other major sources (such as MSCI’s Innovest) and from CSRHub’s sources in the aggregate.

Ideal Ratings and CSRHub.jpg

Of course, this different viewpoint does not mean Ideal Ratings is wrong or off track!  Each of our sources shows similar differences with the others.  We are happy to add the Ideal Ratings’ viewpoint to our system and encourage a company who would like to better understand how they are perceived by this source to reach out directly to Ideal Ratings or contact our team at CSRHub for a review of how their company is rated by all of our sources.

 


Bahar Gidwani

Bahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information.  It covers over 17,265+ companies from 135 industries in 133 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 525 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

 

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CSRHub's Cynthia Figge speaking at 2017 International Corporate Citizenship Conference at Boston College

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 15, 2017 10:29:51 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

CSRHub Co-Founder and COO, Cynthia Figge, will be a panelist at Boston 2017 International Corporate Citizenship Conference at Boston CollegeCollege’s 2017 International Corporate Citizenship Conference. This event will be held on March 26-28th in Boston, MA. Cynthia will be speaking at the Session focused on Evolving Reporting Landscape.  

The evolving reporting landscape: Using the data you disclose

The number of companies engaging in sustainability reporting is at an all-time high—and growing. Now, the conversation no longer centers on whether companies should report but rather how.  In this session, learn more about the trends and topics that are shaping the future of reporting, and what you can do now to make sure that you are leveraging the process in such a way that creates a better business—and a better world.

Breakout Session: Evolving Reporting Landscape

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Moderator: Dan Bross, BCCCC Executive Forum emeritus

Panelists:   Dana Beckman, Director Corporate Affairs, Alliance Data
Cynthia Figge, COO and Cofounder, CSRHub
Evan Harvey, Director of Corporate Responsibility, NASDAQ
Julia Wilson, Director, Global Responsibility and Sustainability, Nielsen

 

To see more of our partners’ training opportunities or where Cynthia Figge or Bahar Gidwani will be speaking next, please click here.

 

 

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The Rater CSRHub is Rated

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

Matthew 7:2

Matthew’s Biblical warning has now come true:  “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Yes, CSRHub LLC, the developer of the CSRHub sustainability ratings web site, now has a CSRHub rating!

CSRHub ratings.png

Fortunately, our scores look pretty good.  We appear to be well-governed and to have a positive impact on the community we serve (primarily sustainability professionals and their advisors).  Our environmental rating is helped by the fact that we are a virtual company.  Each of our team members works out of his or her own home office.  This keeps our carbon footprint low and limits our resource use (everything we do internally is via email and file transfer).

We have only five sources driving our ratings.  This is a low number, but fortunately we did the full B Corp assessment (we got a rating from them of 101—which is very good).  This combined with the fact that we belong to a number of sustainability-related organizations and had registered with folks like GreenPages Directory and ImpactSpace gave us enough visible information to allow us to publish our own scores.

Of course, as soon as our team and our vendors saw that we were rated, we started to get questions.  In particular, a number of team members complained about our low Employee rating.  As you can see from the more detailed drill down below, our compensation is a bit low (probably relating to being an early stage, virtual company).  Our diversity is good.  But, our training, health and safety number is pretty weak.

CSRHub LLC ratings.png

Again, this number doesn’t seem as meaningful in a virtual company setting as it would for a factory or large office building environment. It is unclear what training we’d give our team (they come to us often with remarkably high skill levels that would be hard for us to improve!) or what safety concerns our team faces as they commute to their home offices.  Yes, they could trip on the way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee…but it seems hard to hold CSRHub responsible for a dog that bounds into their path or a toy left on the floor!

Still, we should have more formal policies on health and safety—and provide longer-term training support for team members who need it.  Now that we know where we stand, we intend to ask our team to help us improve in this area.  We hope this is an example of how our service can accomplish its mission of encouraging greater corporate social responsibility as we extend our ratings to include smaller, privately held companies.

Search a company on CSRHub and see their sustainability performance.

Search CSRHub Ratings & Rankings

 

 


Bahar Gidwani

Bahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information.  It covers over 17,000 companies from 135 industries in 133 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 500 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

 

 

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Sustainability at Our Alma Mater, Harvard Business School

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 21, 2017 9:46:22 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

Two of CSRHub’s founders went to Harvard Business School.  (Cynthia and I were in the same study group!)  So we remain interested in the affairs of our alma mater—especially as they relate to sustainability.

Colleges and Universities are pretty interesting “entities” from a sustainability perspective.  Many of them are huge enterprises—as big or bigger than most major corporations.  For instance, Harvard University employs about 16,000 faculty and staff (more staff than the 11,000+ students they serve).  The University of Texas at Austin has about the same number of staff, 15,000, watching over its 50,000 students.  In contrast, US Steel employs only 21,000 people—not too different!

We have 11 sources of information and 158 elements of data available on Harvard University, but can only rate it on 8 of our twelve measures of sustainability.  This is a common situation for Colleges and Universities (we have 47 sources for US Steel).

Harvard University CSR Ranking.jpg

We currently offer full ratings on only 9 of the 88 education entities that we cover in CSRHub.  This situation should improve as we gather more crowd and government sources.  (For instance, the US Department of Education provides an interesting Scorecard that has more than 100 data items per college.  (E.g., did you know that Harvard University graduates earn an average of $87,200 ten years after graduation, compared to $52,800 for UT grads?)

Colleges and universities face many of the same sustainability-related issues that businesses do.  For instance, Harvard has tussled with its host communities (with both Cambridge and Allston), as it has expanded its facilities and grown its “footprint.”  The University recently went through a strike with its food workers, narrowly avoided a strike with its janitors, and faces a unionization effort among its graduate student workers.  It has also made public commitments to reduce its carbon footprint, waste production, etc.

While schools like Harvard may have a “sustainability report,” few educational institutions have generated a GRI report (10 in the past two years out of the 88 entities in this group) and none have done a CDP report.  This lack of formal reporting, coupled with public/private governance structures that diffuse responsibility, make it hard to hold educational institutions to the same standard of behavior that we do for business entities.  However, the core buyer for education is young and more socially aware than the average consumer of most business products.  We expect to see students (and faculty) increase pressure on universities and colleges to both disclose more of their social behavior and to press schools to improve their social performance.

 

Search a company on CSRHub and see their sustainability performance.

 Search CSRHub Ratings & Rankings


Bahar Gidwani

Bahar Gidwani is CEO and Co-founder of CSRHub.  He has built and run large technology-based businesses for many years. Bahar holds a CFA, worked on Wall Street with Kidder, Peabody, and with McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to a number of major companies and currently serves on the board of several software and Web companies. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. He plays bridge, races sailboats, and is based in New York City.

CSRHub provides access to the world’s largest corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information.  It covers over 16,800 companies from 135 industries in 133 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 500 data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices, and seek ways to improve corporate sustainability performance.

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CSRHub shares more Rays of Hope - reach 500 sources

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 17, 2017 11:01:42 AM / by Cynthia Figge

We enter the New Year with some Rays of Hope for the world and at CSRHub.  After nine years of pioneering work, we have just ingested our 500th data source and track the perceived sustainability performance of almost 17,000 companies worldwide. We now aggregate 13 expert ESG investor research databases, and a vast array of NGO and rich data sources providing a strong signal on how companies are perceived by financial analysts and other stakeholders.

During 2017, we plan to continue expanding both the range of sources we ingest500 sources v2.jpg (we have >100 new sources in our pipeline) and the number of companies we track (we have data on another 140,000 companies).

We are adding 3 million data elements per month to our 100 million analyzed data elements. If you haven’t visited our new company page new design lately, please see the Wal-mart company page sample or request a demo to get a glimpse of how big data and benchmark tools can increase your CSR / ESG business intelligence. 

 See Wal-Mart Sample Page       Request a Demo

This year we will continue working on our goal to make a public, affordable, and standardized measure of company ESG performance that empowers our users to improve corporate social performance. 

Thank you for the work you do and for being members of our community.

Best regards,

Cynthia Figge

Co-founder and COO, CSRHub

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