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CRA Webinar Part 2 - Using Your Sustainability/CSR Report for Real Market Advantage

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 19, 2016 10:52:20 AM / by Cynthia Figge

Corporate Responsibility Association

Join us for part 2 of our two part webinar series on January 20th, 2016 with two of the field's foremost sustainability practitioners – ‘internal’ strategic advisors to the CSR reporting for many of North America's most well-known companies – and designers of the world’s largest database of ‘external’ Sustainability/ESG ratings. Lorinda Rowledge, PhD, Cofounder of EKOS International, and Cynthia Figge, COO and Cofounder of CSRHub and Cofounder of EKOS, provide practical advice and succinct "lessons learned” on CSR reporting.

CSRHub and EKOS International webinars

During Webinar 401: Using Your Sustainability/ CSR Report for Real Market Advantage on January 20th, 2016: 

Participants will learn how to increase the positive impact of their Sustainability Report -- improving environmental performance, increasing brand value, connecting with customers, engaging employees, and accelerating a culture of continuous improvement.

If you have been publishing a Sustainability/CSR Report for several years and wonder how to improve it and reach more stakeholders who really care, this webinar will address:

  • Trends in Sustainability/CSR reporting in the US and globally
  • Amping up the benefits of CSR reporting to various stakeholder groups including customers, investors, employees, communities and partners
  • Managing ESG and mainstream investor expectations for reporting
  • Ways to leverage your public reporting to improve your ESG analyst ratings
  • New reporting standards including GRI G4 and SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board)
  • Evolving software platforms for reporting your metrics and KPIs
  • Comparative CSR ratings and benchmarking your progress
  • Resources and recommendations

Register for GDG

Register for Part Two here.

Miss Part 1, Creating a Winning First Time Sustainability/CSR Report? See the slides or watch the webinar 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.

Lorinda RowledgeLorinda Rowledge is Partner and Co-founder of EKOS International, and Founding Provost Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Lorinda has for over 20 years helped executives of leading global companies integrate sustainability and business strategy. She co-authored Mapping the Journey: Case Studies in Implementing Sustainable Development Strategies. Prior to co-founding EKOS, from 1986 to 1994, Lorinda was one of four partners managing the Deltapoint Corporation, a consulting and publishing firm leading in advanced Japanese management systems. Lorinda has led 5 Executive Study Missions to Europe and Japan, Lorinda holds a Ph.D., specializing in Organizational Psychology, from the University of Oregon.

 

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2 CRA Webinars: Creating a Winning First Time Sustainability/CSR Report

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 23, 2015 11:32:11 AM / by Cynthia Figge

Corporate Responsibility Association

Join our two part webinar series on both November 18th, 2015 and January 20th, 2016 with two of the field's foremost sustainability practitioners – ‘internal’ strategic advisors to the CSR reporting for many of North America's most well-known companies – and designers of the world’s largest database of ‘external’ Sustainability/ESG ratings. Lorinda Rowledge, PhD, Cofounder of EKOS International, and Cynthia Figge, COO and Cofounder of CSRHub and Cofounder of EKOS, provide practical advice and succinct "lessons learned” on CSR reporting.

CSRHub and EKOS International webinars

During Webinar 101: Creating a Winning First Time Sustainability/ CSR Report, on November 18th, 2015:

Participants will learn how to increase the positive impact of their Sustainability Report -- improving environmental performance, increasing brand value, connecting with customers, engaging employees, and accelerating a culture of continuous improvement.

Whether you are tackling your first or evolving your nascent sustainability/ corporate social responsibility report, this webinar will help you improve your reporting. They will address:

  • The strategic context for sustainability/CSR reporting
  • Benefits of CSR reporting to stakeholder groups
  • Evolving investor and market expectations for reporting
  • Report content: determining what to report
  • Metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) & measurement
  • Pitfalls typical for first time reporters
  • Creative direction and storyboard
  • Insights in CSR report project planning
  • Communicating your report to stakeholders
  • Company CSR ratings & benchmarking
  • Lessons learned & recommendations
  • Resources for creating your CSR report

Register for GDG

Register for Part One here.

During Webinar 401: Using Your Sustainability/ CSR Report for Real Market Advantage on January 20th, 2016: 

Participants will learn how to increase the positive impact of their Sustainability Report -- improving environmental performance, increasing brand value, connecting with customers, engaging employees, and accelerating a culture of continuous improvement.

If you have been publishing a Sustainability/CSR Report for several years and wonder how to improve it and reach more stakeholders who really care, this webinar will address:

  • Trends in Sustainability/CSR reporting in the US and globally
  • Amping up the benefits of CSR reporting to various stakeholder groups including customers, investors, employees, communities and partners
  • Managing ESG and mainstream investor expectations for reporting
  • Ways to leverage your public reporting to improve your ESG analyst ratings
  • New reporting standards including GRI G4 and SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board)
  • Evolving software platforms for reporting your metrics and KPIs
  • Comparative CSR ratings and benchmarking your progress
  • Resources and recommendations

Register for GDG

Register for Part Two here.

Although this webinar is a two part series, it is not required to sign up for both. Choose the webinar best suited to your needs.


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.

Lorinda RowledgeLorinda Rowledge is Partner and Co-founder of EKOS International, and Founding Provost Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Lorinda has for over 20 years helped executives of leading global companies integrate sustainability and business strategy. She co-authored Mapping the Journey: Case Studies in Implementing Sustainable Development Strategies. Prior to co-founding EKOS, from 1986 to 1994, Lorinda was one of four partners managing the Deltapoint Corporation, a consulting and publishing firm leading in advanced Japanese management systems. Lorinda has led 5 Executive Study Missions to Europe and Japan, Lorinda holds a Ph.D., specializing in Organizational Psychology, from the University of Oregon.

 

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Can Corporate Social Responsibility Be a Differentiator for Community Banks?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 14, 2014 9:00:13 AM / by CSRHub Blogging

wib-logoma_logoEKOS By John R. Hancock, Moss Adams LLP and Lorinda R. Rowledge, EKOS International

With a few exceptions, community banks lag behind both large banks and other industries in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability policies, strategy, goals, performance and reporting. None are fully realizing the potential that integrating CSR into their core business has to offer.Why is CSR important? And how can your bank develop a CSR road map and report?

According to IFC’s 2007 report Banking on Sustainability, which surveyed 120 financial institutions in 43 emerging markets regarding their adoption of CSR strategies, 74 percent of respondents reported a reduction in risk as a result of considering environmental and social issues. Another 48 percent noted improved access to international capital, 39 percent benefited from improved brand value and reputation, 35 percent developed new business and 26 percent benefited from improved community relations.

Most corporate leaders in other sectors today recognize that CSR is strategically relevant to their business. This is equally true in banking, where executives are now increasingly seeing CSR as an effective means of:

  • Assessing lending and investment risks
  • Protecting reputation and brand
  • Building loyalty among commercial and retail customers
  • Attracting new clients
  • Capturing savings from reduced operational costs
  • Attracting, engaging, and retaining employees
  • Fulfilling their responsibility as good corporate citizens

While many banks have long supported community activities, and several have initiatives to encourage recycling and reduce paper consumption, true leverage comes from integrating CSR into every aspect of the business. This includes business strategy, product and service offerings, risk assessment and lending policies, facilities management, governance, procurement and supplier management, HR practices, and corporate philanthropy.

Developing a plan for greater integration of CSR in the form of a CSR or sustainability road map together with a publicly shared CSR report are two major approaches that will move banks toward more successful implementation. Begin the process by defining your bank’s social, environmental, and economic impacts and opportunities, then specify your CSR strategy, goals, implementation plan, initiatives, and milestones. Here’s how the steps might look:

  • Commit to strategically managing CSR.
  • Develop a sustainability implementation road map, with goals, milestones and progress reviews.
  • Identify material CSR-related impacts, issues and opportunities.
  • Develop and implement key sustainability performance indicators.
  • Develop a CSR or sustainability report (may initially be internal only).
  • Capture your current success stories – what’s already happening that can be celebrated and built on.
  • Obtain assurance on sustainability assessment systems and data.
  • Integrate CSR into your core business through policies, strategies, and product and service offerings.
  • Improve internal CSR practices.
  • Engage stakeholders – employees, customers, shareholders, community members, local economic development offices, suppliers, etc.
  • Participate in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and other relevant initiatives.
  • Drive both continuous and breakthrough improvement in CSR performance and outcomes.

These need not be done sequentially. Although the primary purpose of a CSR or sustainability report is to transparently communicate CSR impacts, risks, strategies and progress (or lack thereof) to stakeholders, it can also be a powerful organizing driver for strategic sustainability planning and implementation. The tangible goal of producing a CSR report serves as a catalyst to educate leaders and key organizational members, gather and analyze significant issues, assess which measurements are in place and which are needed, engage a cross-functional team in data gathering and analysis, engage the organization in developing strategy and goals, and develop the framework for monitoring progress against goals.

CSR reporting also serves as a platform for telling your story. Although most community banks discuss community involvement on their websites, and several publish facts about their environmental efforts, very few produce CSR reports. Two notable exceptions are Triodos Bank, the pioneer of sustainable banking over 30 years ago, and San Francisco-based WIB member New Resource Bank, which published its first report in 2013.

The first year or so of a sustainability initiative typically involves building the bank’s measurement system to ensure decisions and reporting are based on valid, accurate data. The latest guidelines released by the Global Reporting Initiative make reporting simpler and more targeted, encouraging companies to focus on those issues most material to their stakeholders rather than reporting on a laundry list of performance indicators. The guidelines now allow assurance evidence per indicator, which enables companies to choose to assure only the most significant indicators in their report. External assurance helps build credibility and trust, and this change in reporting expectations makes assurance more affordable and achievable for smaller companies.

Most community banks are failing to leverage CSR to accelerate new product and service offerings, deepen customer relationships and loyalty, stimulate business growth or attract and retain talented employees. For those that jump on board, there are many potential rewards.

Lorinda Rowledge is Cofounder and Partner of EKOS International, a strategic sustainability consulting firm.  She is passionate about the synergistic nexus of innovation, sustainability and employee, customer, and stakeholder engagement. Lorinda leads EKOS CSR Report Rapid Prototyping, Materiality Assessment, and Open Innovation/Crowdsourcing services.  She co-authored Mapping the Journey, a book featuring global businesses leading in the application of sustainability.  Lorinda holds a Ph.D., specializing in Organizational & Community Psychology.  She is a strategic advisor to CSRHub.com, a database that provides sustainability ratings data on 8,900+ companies worldwide.     Contact Lorinda: LRowledge@ekosi.com  and EKOS: www.EKOSi.com   

 John R. Hancock is partner with Moss Adams LLP (www.mossadams.com). He can be reached at 503-323-7386 or john.hancock@mossadams.com

 

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Apple Shook the Tree

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 13, 2012 5:00:00 AM / by Bahar Gidwani

 

By Bahar Gidwani


Apple’s recent decision to reveal details about its supply chain practices has provoked a storm of articles, comments, and protests. Although I already offered my thoughts on this subject in a previous post, I wanted to point out some articles our readers might have missed.

The first article appeared just last week. It tied Apple’s release of a new iPad to the “human cost” of that device. As you may guess, the author—who has personally visited some of Apple’s factories—did not encourage his readers to rush out to buy this new product.

Another article a few weeks ago had a similar message regarding the iPhone. The author examines whether or not we should feel guilty, if we own and use an iPhone—you can guess his conclusion.

Finally, a third article described a protest that greeted the recent opening of a new Apple store.  Interestingly, the author of the first article was taking part in the protest, and is quoted in the third article.

Why would you have missed these pieces? They were printed in the New York Daily News—a decidedly middle market publication that brags about its sports pages and that still has room for two pages of comics. (Although they used to have three pages, not so long ago!) The presence of these articles in “mainstream media” is another proof that supply chain performance has become a mainstream concern. Apple has shaken the tree and is reaping the fruits of its labor! We are happy to see supply chain concerns becoming core consumer and business issues.


Bahar Gidwani is a Cofounder and CEO of CSRHub. Formerly, he was the CEO of New York-based Index Stock Imagery, Inc, from 1991 through its sale in 2006. He has built and run large technology-based businesses and has experience building a multi-million visitor Web site. Bahar holds a CFA, was a partner at Kidder, Peabody & Co., and worked at McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to both large companies such as Citibank, GE, and Acxiom and a number of smaller software and Web-based companies. He has an MBA (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and a BS in Astronomy and Physics (magna cum laude) from Amherst College. Bahar races sailboats, plays competitive bridge, and is based in New York City.

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