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

Why the name CSRHUB? A Rose is a Rose…

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 9, 2010 9:50:36 AM / by Cynthia Figge

Names have important foundational significance, and like many (all?) startups, Bahar, Stephen and I agonized over our name, and bought numerous URLs. We actually began our business as EkoHub. Ekos is the Greek root word for “ecology” and “economy” and Ekos or oikos (ancient Greek: οἶκος, plural: οἶκοι) is the equivalent of a household or family. This beautiful meaning related to home in its broadest sense of household relationships within the community was the basis for naming my consulting firm EKOS International, cofounded with Lorinda Rowledge and Russell Barton in 1996. Although the original name of EkoHub felt right, we learned that many people interpret this term as lingo for green or environmental.

We explored using the word sustainability – a term increasingly recognized as the dynamic integration of economic, social and environmental systems. However, we found no clever way to shorten the term.

On the investing side of the ledger, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), also known as socially-conscious or ethical investing, is a term that describes an investment strategy that seeks to maximize both financial return and social good. The areas of concern recognized by the SRI industry can be summarized as Environment, Social responsibility, and Governance (ESG). ESG is a term increasingly used by professional analytical firms such as Asset4 and IW Financial to describe their services.

In early 2008 I obtained the URL www.csrhub.com. While the term CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) may have a connotation of “doing the right thing”, CSR has become an acceptable acronym for employee, environmental, community and governance performance in the corporate world. In some regions (Japan, Europe and increasingly Asia), CSR is the dominant terminology for what might also be called sustainability or corporate citizenship.

Based on years of consulting in this area and helping clients develop their CSR/Corporate Responsibility/Sustainability/Citizenship Reports, I know that companies struggle with finding the right words to describe their efforts. Recently my partners at EKOS and I did a quick study of the names of CSR reports in the Fortune 100. The results are as follow below. I think you can draw no quick conclusions. However, of the 63 reports, about 49% are referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility or Corporate Responsibility, and 30% are called Sustainability reports (with many derivations on these terms). See also a cool report by design and communications firm Methodologie that provides a snapshot of how Fortune 100 corporate leaders are communicating Annual and CSR progress in their annual survey of the Fortune 100’s corporate reporting practices.

So for now, we’re betting on CSRHUB, and moving forward as a hub for CSR ratings and information. But we’re pointing to the site with EkoHub and ESGhub just in case. Because "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet".*

Fortune 100 Report Name Contains

# of Reports

% of Reports

Sustainability

19

30.2%

Citizenship

10

15.9%

Corporate Responsibility

15

23.8%

Corporate Social Responsibility

16

25.4%

Environment, Energy, Health, Safety

3

4.8%

63

100%

*A quote by William Shakespeare from his play Romeo and Juliet meant to say that the names of things do not matter, only what things are.

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