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

Something to Look Forward to at BCCCC

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 21, 2016 9:47:55 AM / by Cynthia Figge

By Cynthia Figge

This week I have the pleasure of attending Boston College’s 2016 International Corporate Citizenship conference.  Our friends at BCCCC have asked me to speak about ratings, rankings and data analytics. I look forward to meeting with many of the leaders in the CSR movement.

CSRHub is a Benchmark Sponsor of this year’s event, and attendees will receive a complimentary CSRHub report covering the company of their choice.  Most have requested reports on their own companies, but some have asked about other companies that may have a best practice or two they’d like to learn.  We ran a quick average of the overall rankings for 88 companies that were requested from our system.

We expect this group to outperform the more than 15,500 companies we rate as many of the requests are for member companies of BCCCC and therefore committed to improving their corporate citizenship.  The table below shows that while the average overall rating for this group is slightly above average at 55.4%, the highest category ranking is Employees. With about 600 companies in attendance, we will rerun this analysis as we produce more company reports.

BCCCC top 5 companies

The table also illustrates five companies (all BCCCC members) requested with high scores within the CSRHub system.  We have enjoyed this opportunity to share our metrics with the BCCCC community.  Our mission is to encourage transparent access to sustainability information and to generate feedback and change from this data.  I’m looking forward to several days of learning from companies that are leading the way, and from others who are working hard to improve their companies’ performance.


Cynthia Figge, Co-founder and COO of CSRHubCynthia Figge is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement who co-founded EKOS International in 1996, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Cynthia is COO and Cofounder of CSRHub. Cynthia has worked with major organizations including BNSF, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, and REI to help craft sustainability strategy integrated with business. She was an Officer of LIN Broadcasting/McCaw Cellular leading new services development, and started a new “Greenfield” mill with Weyerhaeuser. She serves as Advisor to media and technology companies, and served as President of the Board of Sustainable Seattle. Cynthia has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Cynthia is based in the Seattle area.

 

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CSRHub's Cynthia Figge speaking at Boston College's 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 17, 2016 9:53:31 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

BCCCC 2016 Conference

CSRHub Co-Founder and COO, Cynthia Figge, will be a panelist at Boston College’s 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference. This event will be held on March 20-22nd in Atlanta, GA. Cynthia will be speaking at the Session focused on Ratings, Rankings and Data Analytics.  Cynthia will be joined by Eric Fernald from MSCI and Susanne Katus from eRevalue, in a session moderated by Stephen Donofrio, BC Center for Corporate Citizenship, to discuss the landscape of how companies are measured. The audience will receive tips to shape their companies' approach to the complex world of ratings and rankings.

CSRHub is a Benchmarking Sponsor of the 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference. We look forward to joining experts from around the world in sharing the innovative new programs, partnerships, and solutions that are driving positive change across the globe.

For the agenda of this event and more information, please click here.


Cynthia Figge, Co-founder and COO of CSRHubCynthia Figge is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement who co-founded EKOS International in 1996, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Cynthia is COO and Cofounder of CSRHub. Cynthia has worked with major organizations including BNSF, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones, and REI to help craft sustainability strategy integrated with business. She was an Officer of LIN Broadcasting/McCaw Cellular leading new services development, and started a new “Greenfield” mill with Weyerhaeuser. She serves as Advisor to media and technology companies, and served as President of the Board of Sustainable Seattle. Cynthia has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Cynthia is based in the Seattle area.

 

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Why Mandatory Reporting is the Key to Better Benchmarking

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 9, 2015 10:48:02 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

Guest Author: Adriana Salazar

A well-known quote from 19th century American writer Mark Twain says “Comparison is the death of joy”, but if you’re a company wanting to create a sustainability strategy that makes business sense, what if I tell you there’s a lot to be happy about in comparing yourself with others?

And what if I tell you mandatory reporting is instrumental in helping you make these comparisons?

By others, of course, I mean your industry peers. Peer benchmarking is the process designed to assist companies in comparing themselves with each other (on specific metrics or processes for instance) in order to grow and make better strategic decisions. If we focus on sustainability benchmarking, the process naturally closes in on sustainability-relevant metrics.

So why benchmark? Companies that grasp the importance of a solid sustainability strategy (and view it as an asset rather than a hindrance) know investors increasingly value this forward-thinking approach. In addition, knowing where you stand against your competitors and identifying strengths and weaknesses for improved strategic decision-making can help your corporation drive innovation and increase bottom line benefits. But for all its benefits (if you follow the blog, you’ll know we’ve discussed this before), the benchmarking process also has its challenges. To name one, sustainability benchmarking is only as good as the data it’s based on.

If you’re a company wanting to benchmark your sustainability data against your peers, you’ll likely want to use third party tools and services offering a good range of data and allowing you to run quick and reliable comparisons on a variety of indicators. But if you think about it, the only reason your company will even have access to this type of data in the first place, is because your industry peers and competitors have made their sustainability data publicly available.

In short, data (always) matters. Good quality and publicly available metrics are at the core of sustainability benchmarking. And this is where the question of mandatory reporting comes in. The next time you hear someone complain about compulsory sustainability reporting, there’s at least one solid argument you can give them: Although voluntary reporting is fairly extended, it’s the mandatory disclosure of key (and sometimes sensitive!) data that’s going to take sustainability benchmarking to the next level. For a corporation to obtain a truly reality-based snapshot of where it stands against its peers, both industry leaders and laggards need to have previously measured and released the ‘metrics that matter’, including those they would rather not report about.

While it’s true that regulatory instruments remain largely voluntary at the global level, mandatory sustainability reporting standards and legislation are increasingly present at the national level. According to GRI’s 2013 ‘Carrots & Sticks’ publication, which analyzed the increasing number of national and international reporting policies from around the world, in 2006, 58 percent of policies were mandatory, while 7 years later, over two thirds (72 percent) of the 180 policies in the 45 reviewed countries were compulsory.

In 2013 (see image below), GRI already highlighted that sustainability reporting requirements and recommendations were on the rise in the EU. More recently, due to the December 2014 EU Directive on the Disclosure of non-financial and Diversity Information by Certain Large Undertakings and Groups, by the end of 2017 an estimated 6,000 public interest companies with over 500 employees, across 28 Member States, will be required to disclose relevant and material environmental and social information in their annual reports.

2015-07-03_16h55_24

In addition, increased mandatory reporting (contributing to improve and expand the quality and availability of data for sustainability benchmarking), also means the days of greenwashing are over. Highlighting a few obscure and supposedly ‘green’ KPIs in your next sustainability report is probably not going to convince anyone. Fortunately, globally and in the past few years, sustainability reporting has taken the opposite direction (towards increased disclosure, transparency, visibility, dialogue…), and that’s something we should all be very grateful for.

There are a number of user-friendly solutions to help you benchmark. At Enablon Publisher, we partnered with CSRHub to create a benchmarking tool allowing any corporation to quickly and efficiently measure environmental, social, governance and community performance against industry peers. From a user perspective, all you have to do is enter the name of your company, select your competitors, and start benchmarking!

If the idea intrigues you, visit us at: http://publisher.enablon.com/templates/benchmark/

 

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CSRHub’s Cynthia Figge Speaking at EarthShift Webinar, Using Benchmarking to Evaluate Suppliers

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 14, 2013 10:59:35 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

CSRHub’s Cynthia Figge will be leading a ‘brown bag’ webinar for EarthShift called Using Benchmarking to Evaluate Suppliers, on November 20th from 1 - 2:00pm ET.

EarthShift is offering a series of weekly 'brown bag' webinars. EarthShiftThese are free webinars covering a wide range of topics and delivered by leaders in their respective fields.

EarthShift’s founder, Lise Laurin, attended a presentation by Cynthia Figge at a conference earlier this year and wished immediately that all of her colleagues, clients and friends could have been there to attend.  This thought was the catalyst for the creation of the “Brown Bag’ webinar series. Mrs. Laurin said of the presentation “Metrics of sustainability is such a hot topic right now and CSRHub has interesting way of looking at it.”

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 8,400+ companies from 135 industries in 104 countries. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

In this webinar you will learn how to use CSRHub to benchmark your supply chain with Cynthia Figge, COO and Cofounder, CSRHub.

www.earthshift.com/brown-bag (a recording of the webinar will also be available at the same site afterwards if you would like to use it to share)

EarthShift strives to demystify sustainability and to empower you to make more informed decisions regarding your business – and the environmental, social, and economic consequences that flow from its activities. EarthShift provides consulting services that take clients through Life Cycle Assessment and Total Cost Assessment evaluations as the practical application of sustainability efforts. They provide specific, individual solutions – training courses, software packages, and consulting engagements – that are designed to be both targeted and cost-effective.

EarthShift Brown Bag Webinar - Using Benchmarking to Evaluate Suppliers
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Register for the free webinar today!


Cynthia FiggeCynthia Figge is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement. She is COO and Cofounder of CSRHub, the world’s largest database that aggregates and organizes data and knowledge on the social, environmental, and governance performance of 8,400 companies to provide sustainability ratings to the marketplace. In 1996 she co-founded EKOS International, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Prior to founding EKOS, she was an officer of LIN Broadcasting / McCaw Cellular, and led new businesses and services with Weyerhaeuser, New York Daily News; and with New Ventures. Cynthia is Board Director of the Compassionate Action Network International. Cynthia received her bachelor's degree in Economics and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She lives in the Seattle area.

 

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Join CSRHub's Cynthia Figge at Business4Better!

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 25, 2013 10:01:34 AM / by Cynthia Figge

What is Business4Better?

A New Way of Doing Business is Emerging...

Business4Better (B4B) is a two-day conference and exposition designed to help businesses develop the knowledge, competencies and contacts to partner with nonprofits in ways that have a substantive impact on societal causes while creating stronger commercial value for your business – join the movement and learn how!

Building Partnerships that Matter

Business4Better features 200 innovative and creative nonprofits as the exhibitors in an environment that enables companies to find genuine opportunities for collaboration, bringing you from simple check-writing to a dynamic corporate social responsibility program that has lasting impact.

Cynthia is lending her expertise to two sessions:

Supersession: Measuring What Matters

Thursday, May 2, 2013, 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Is there hard evidence that corporate community involvement moves the needle on social causes? Which business-nonprofit partnership benefits are hype and which are proven? How do you know if you are on the right path to showing measurable impact? This session has actionable answers to your metrics questions. Cutting-edge corporate community involvement programs collect hard evidence that they increase sales, customer loyalty, employee engagement and employee retention. They also show a positive business return on investment (ROI) and social return on investment (SROI). Learn the measurement best practices and take your measurement to the next level!

Breakout session: Benchmarking and Recognition Tools

Thursday, May 2, 2013, 1:45 PM-2:45 PM

Benchmarking your program and getting recognition for what you do is important. What tools can help you compare your community involvement program with other companies? And how can you be publically recognized for your program? Come to this session and learn more about the ins and outs of successful benchmarking and recognition programs.

Register Now and Save! 

Register for B4B

 

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